It’s interesting how a word affects what we do. Take ‘storytelling’. This is a hot topic in business and marketing today evidenced by the books appearing on the subject. Here is Steve Denning’s new book and here’s one on branding.
Each one, however, focuses on telling stories. There are very few instances where practitioners are focusing on the meaning of the stories already being told. I think this is because there isn’t an equivalent word to ‘storytelling’ so I’m going to propose ‘storysensemaking’. Sure, it’s a little cumbersome but it only has one more syllable than ‘storytelling’.
Dave Snowden, a pioneer in storysensemaking, has favoured the term ‘Organisational Narrative’ in attempt to differentiate his work from the storytellers, but the phrase is too long and is not a verb. You can’t do Organisational Narrative like you can do storytelling.
What do you think? Is there already a simple verb which means storysensemaking? If there is I’m all for using existing words.
About Shawn Callahan
Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on: