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Building your analogy repertoire

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 30, 2008
Filed in Business storytelling, Collaboration

Collaborative conversations are characterised by people building on each other’s ideas, one idea sparking another. I saw a good example last week while helping a group design some small interventions they could experiment with in their organisation to improve communications. The conversation went something like this: “We could do a 10 minute spot at the […]

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A mystery story that explains irrational behaviour

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 30, 2008
Filed in Anecdotes

Over at the Bumble Bee, Ken Thompson provides an excerpt of Ori Brafman forthcoming book, Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior. It’s a terrific tale of how a very rational airline pilot can act irrationally under pressure. A growing body of research reveals that our behaviour and decision making are influenced by an array […]

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I know what you are thinking stories

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 26, 2008
Filed in Business storytelling

Many business audiences like to hear stories that are directly relevant. So if you are a civil engineer, for example, it’s likely you’re not that interested in stories about electrical engineers. But sometimes (actually quite often in the case of innovation) there are great lessons to be learned from another discipline. In these cases it […]

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What do you notice about these recent books on collaboration?

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 25, 2008
Filed in Collaboration

They are all written by single authors. Is it too difficult to write a book collaboratively? By the way, the first and third books are excellent. Evan Rosen promises to talk about culture but spend most of his time talking about technology.

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Women’s memories are more speech-filled than men’s

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 24, 2008
Filed in Business storytelling

Contrary to popular belief, new research is showing that woman don’t talk more than men (see here and here). They do, however, recall more of what was said than blokes when asked to recount their experiences. We must have plenty of examples or these verbatim recollections in the stories we’ve collected over the years. Richard […]

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Expertise: talk the talk vs walk the talk

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 23, 2008
Filed in Communication

Social scientist, Harry Collins, has spent his career hanging out with gravitational wave physicists and learning to talk like one. Harry’s research is on expertise and working out whether someone who can talk like a physicist can be indistinguishable from some who can do physics if you only talk to them. The key to the […]

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New Whitepaper: Three journeys—A narrative approach to successful organisational change

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 22, 2008
Filed in Collaboration

David Drake (renowned narrative coach) and I have written this white paper to pull together our thinking on how to use our three journeys approach to organisational change and also add a coaching perspective. I hope you find it useful and of course feedback is welcome. Here’s a little blurb. This paper describes the approach […]

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Criteria for implementing initiatives in a complex space

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 16, 2008
Filed in Culture, Insight

Dave’s written a excellent post on how to make progress in a complex environment. It’s excellent because it comes at a time when I’m working with a client where their staff have come up with a range of initiatives yet there is a feeling among some of the project members that the initiatives wont make […]

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Lessons from Lewis & Clark—a new white paper is coming

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 15, 2008
Filed in Business storytelling, Culture

David Drake and I have written a new white paper describing a narrative approach to successful organisational change. We’ve built on our three journeys metaphor, which you might remember was inspired by the epic exploration of the the US West by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Apart from describing the three journeys we’ve drawn a […]

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Rating your own expertise

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 12, 2008
Filed in Anecdotes

Last week I was running an open space to kick off a new community of practice for engineers. While I was wandering around the room I overheard one of the participants make this point about self rating your expertise. The guy who has done this job for 20 years rates himself as good. But the […]

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