Knowledge Management Tools – Storytelling


Once upon a time?

In business?

You do it all the time.

I’ve made learning a professional career since I was 5 and one of the most efficient ways of processing a large amount of information is to tell it in a story. I learned trigonometry through distance estimating problems in Scouts, I learned the history of World War II through the story of ‘In Flanders Fields’ and ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’.

In the business world we have a very specialized form of storytelling, the case study. These stories form the basis of most BCom and MBA programs. My experience has shown me that while most Business School graduates can analyze a case study, very few can write them!

Good stories have structure, they have a beginning, a middle and an end. Writing a good story requires a careful weighing of what is important, do not include too many details. At a maximum, stories should be half an hour long.

In my opinion, storytelling comes into importance in areas of business where management, clients and front line workers need to understand the people behind the policies. Examples would include sales meetings, introduction of new policies, debriefing after a crisis, introducing new managment and training.

I’m including a link to ‘The Ultimate Storytelling Guide’ which you should take with a grain of salt. It is largely focused at childrens storytelling, but the principles are universal.

The Ultimate Storytelling Guide

Wikipedia – Storytelling
* Look for resources in the bibleography and links at the end of the doucment


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