I might have mentioned a few posts ago that we are currently helping a government department develop a staff induction program for their Aboriginal employees. One of the suggestions we’ve made is for new employees to seek out stories from others in the department as a way to create new relationships while also developing an understanding of how things work around here.
I noticed that Dave Snowden has come to similar conclusions. He says,
… one of the methods we created (Open Source and free, but this one is not documented yet so what follows is covered by a creative commons license) is to send people when they join an organisation on a treasure hunt. You give them some categories (A senior engineer with more than ten years experience, someone in accounts who has field experience) and tell them to gather in stories from those people. You don’t give them names, they have to develop social networks to find them. Once they have gathered those stories, then, in front of their peers and after some training, they perform their own story, taking their own history, the stories of the elders and the current context to show how they stand in, not apart from the flow of history.
I like Dave’s idea for the new staff to create their own story and than retelling it to their peers. It is in this retelling that sensemaking occurs.
While working on this project I’ve done some searching of the literature to see if others have developed staff induction programs for Aboriginal workers. I couldn’t find much as at. Any pointers here would be welcomed.
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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:
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