Storytelling as a strategic development tool
Every organization has a work culture that is manifested in symbols, roles, relationships and values that are communicated in a variety of ways. By raising awareness of communication processes and cultural analysis, organizations can identify both resistance and shortcomings, as well as opportunities for the organization's development. These contribute to strengthening communication, security and trust, as well as changing the focus from problem-based development thinking to thinking where opportunities are put first. The purpose of the training is to develop knowledge and abilities around various communication processes, i.a. Appreciative Inquiry, Circle conversation, dialogue, and storytelling, as well as cultural analysis.
We live the stories we tell
We live the stories we tell. Through our words, pictures, films, and other forms of expression we communicate ideas and experiences that shape us and give rise to our identity. As human beings, we are storytellers who engage in the act of storytelling as a form of co-constructive communication. We do not just exchange messages, but rather act into the actions of one another. In so doing we create shared meaning and shared existence. Stories are what makes us human: we are our narratives.
Storytelling has been a powerful tool for centuries used in different cultures to share history and experiences. Stories enable us to communicate ideas that go beyond the rational and structural; they help us to imagine and represent the difficult. As a co-creative process, storytelling builds cultures of engagement naturally through the shared context and sense of shared meaning that results. Storytelling is a social process through which we give shape to our world and identity. How we tell a story, the words we choose, as well as the angle, have a deep connection to what and how we experience our stories. By giving an account of an event we can see relationships between events and actors and experience the experience. We can remain open to exploring rather than close off in a place of judgment. It is a dialogical, co-constructive process that fosters co-creation and shared meaning.
Developing the art of storytelling
Developing skills in the art of storytelling in organizations is not complicated. Stories are all around us; they are within us. Stories are information in context. When we open our ears and eyes and listen to what is being said around us, we begin to engage in the storytelling process. Developing skills in storytelling requires that one develop a sense of listening to the words around us; the ideas shared; who is sharing them; how they are being shared; and the kinds of information that are omitted.
reveal values and principles hidden in culture from the naked eye
make visible driving forces for change that are not easy to identify
provide a platform for understanding different perspectives
highlight turning points that can be used to facilitate innovation and change