I can’t say how excited I was to find Victoria Ward blogging. I noticed a link to her site over at Bev Trayner’s blog (thanks Bev).
So who is Victoria Ward? Victoria founded Sparknow in 1997 and I discovered her work when I was in London last year. Her knowledge of narrative practice is impressive, which is evident from her Taste the Knowledge blog. I’ve never met Victoria but I hope our paths cross soon.
This insight is illustrative of Victoria’s narrative knowledge.
I hold that it is the complexity, ambiguity, discomfort and unease in storytelling (contextualised appropriately through facts and evidence) that is the point. It should not speed up transmission. It should slow transmission, make things messier, harder to grasp, so that the listener/viewer must absorb layers of complexity and develop his or her own judgements about how to act in the light of the experience of receiving the story.
The mainstream business storytellers of course say the exact opposite and while both perspectives are true I think Victoria’s slow narrative perspective is more conducive to sensemaking and better decision making. Fast narrative can taste good but we are rarely satisfied and often suffer the consequences in the future.
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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: