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Crafting good anecdote circle questions

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 14, 2005
Filed in Business storytelling

Successful anecdote circle facilitation hinges on the judicious use of open, story-eliciting questions. I’ve dashed off this short guide on how to create effective questions for anecdote circles. Let me know if it’s useful. Technorati tags: questions, anecdotes

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Getting to know Hunter S Thompson

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 14, 2005
Filed in Fun

My first ‘real’ job had me helping a few really talented guys build a software system designed to book cars for our parliamentarians. Not all of our ideas were implemented. I remember suggesting we fit each car with a global positioning system to enhance booking accuracies. This suggestion was howled down by our client because for […]

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Skimming over the organisational issues

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 14, 2005
Filed in Culture

James Dellow made the following comment: I think there are some barriers to blogging inside corporates that Shawn’s paper skims overs. For example, IT architecture, business culture and security. I mean we’ve had groupware for years and some organisations still find it hard to use it well. Your right James, I did skim over those […]

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Types of organisational narrative

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 9, 2005
Filed in Business storytelling

Until recently (yesterday actually) I have differentiated two types of organisational stories: those crafted to persuade an audience—this approach is typified by Steve Denning’s work at the World Bank and is called ‘Organisational Storytelling’; and stories that retell the day-to-day events which occur in a workplace—Dave Snowden popularised this view of narrative in his work […]

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Character traits

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 9, 2005
Filed in Business storytelling

When extracting archetypes from a body of narrative, I have found it useful to give the workshop participants a large list of character traits to increase the richness of the process. Here is the poster I use. Technorati tags: poster, cynefin

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New white paper: connecting people with content

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —February 28, 2005
Filed in Employee Engagement

Organisations are still jumping to the conclusion that they absolutely need a ‘knowledge repository’ to successfully harness employee know-how. While a database (let’s be honest with ourselves, it’s just a database) can be an important part of a knowledge solution, by itself, it’s typically an expensive waste of time. This white paper provides an alternative approach where […]

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What is an attractor?

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —February 25, 2005
Filed in Culture

Managers can apply complexity science as a metaphor to better understand their organisation. Like all metaphors, they are only a partial description and will always break down. For example, you might describe a colleague as a veritable tiger to illustrate his ferociousness, agility and willingness to attack, but he is unlikely to have a long […]

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Apple anecdotes – stories of the macintosh

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —February 24, 2005
Filed in Business storytelling

If you want to see the power of anecdotes, just check out this site by Andy Hertzfeld. Andy has collected 117 anecdotes that document the development of the Apple Macintosh and categorises each anecdotes into topics like software design, marketing, inspiration and celebrities. It provides an excellent example of how narratives can be organised to […]

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Why no posts Shawn?

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —February 17, 2005
Filed in News

Auckland has been a delight. I’ve spend the last 3 days running a workshop called, ‘Succeeding in Complexity’. It seems to have been well received. We spent much of our time getting hands-on experience with the Cynefin techniques and listening to how each participant was coming to grips with the new mind set required to […]

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Assumptions about monitoring

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —February 11, 2005
Filed in Communication

Hi Michael, thanks for you kind comments about my blog. As you’ve probably gathered, my thoughts on monitoring are developing so I appreciate your questions. Take the following comment you make: One question that comes to mind immediately is an extension of his base assumption that there’s an optimum level and pace of monitoring given […]

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