Archive for the ‘Anecdotes’ Category

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The little things that give you insight into the culture

Posted by  Mark Schenk —June 16, 2007
Filed in Anecdotes

The anecdote below, told by a participant in a recent workshop, really made me stop and think. There are lots of lessons it, not least of which is that seemingly innocuous actions can have a big influence on a person’s decision to join an organisation. A friend of mine had applied for a fantastic new […]

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Finding and amplifying a sense of direction—directional stories

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —June 1, 2007
Filed in Anecdotes, Communication

This week I have been talking to people about foundational stories and how they are important for reinforcing the core vales and direction for everyone in the organisation. HP has a well know foundation story about Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard starting their little electronics company in a garage with a measly $500. Within this […]

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How Gehry designs—the full story

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 22, 2007
Filed in Anecdotes

On the recommendation of Johnnie Moore, I read A Perfect Mess by Eric Abrahamson and David Freedman. I was really looking forward to this book because it held the promise of providing an interesting view of issues dear to my heart: chaos, complexity and messiness (I also hoped it might give me good reasons for […]

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A sensemaking story

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 16, 2007
Filed in Anecdotes

Here’s an interesting story Bob Sutton recently received from a US Marine in relation to his excellent book, The No Asshole Rule. It’s a terrific sensemaking story because I can imagine people will have strong opinions about what the Marine did and so the story will easily start a conversation that will help the participants […]

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The story of a map – Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 NYC Subway Map

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 14, 2007
Filed in Anecdotes

Imagine if you could get people to talk on camera about their achievements and mistakes. The result could be a powerful, especially if you use these stories to get people talking. Here’s a tiny example on a topic dear to my heart: how to convey complex information simply. In this clip Massimo Vignelli talks about […]

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The story of the old man and the insulting children

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —April 27, 2007
Filed in Anecdotes, Fun

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I’m reading Punished by Rewards by Alfie Kohn. It’s a terrific book. This story struck my funny bone so I thought I’d share it with you. Each day an elderly man endured the insults of a crowd of ten-year-olds as they passed his house on their way […]

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Lessons learning: using stories to share understanding

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —April 8, 2007
Filed in Anecdotes, Business storytelling

This morning (Happy Easter!) I started writing a paper on a narrative approach to lessons learning. I’m at the point of gathering my thoughts and had the idea of sharing some of them as they occur to me. I hope it’s not too ill-informed but if that’s the case I’m hoping you’ll help me correct […]

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Anecdote circles don’t work for everyone

Posted by  Mark Schenk —April 6, 2007
Filed in Anecdotes

Occasionally, anecdote circles don’t work. Sometimes, people don’t get a lot out of them. In the feedback session for the leadership program mentioned on Wednesday one of the participants had this to say: I attended one of the anecdote circles and, no offense meant Mark, but I thought it was a bit of a waste […]

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Anecdote: making positive choices

Posted by  Mark Schenk —April 4, 2007
Filed in Anecdotes, Business storytelling

I am in a plane to Brisbane reflecting on the second delivery of a 2.5 day leadership program we have helped develop for the Australian arm of an international company. A large part of the program used anecdotes collected from within the organisation on leadership behaviours and their impact. The feedback from the participants was […]

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Shell’s blue book – a fine example of storytelling

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 22, 2007
Filed in Anecdotes, Collaboration

In 2001 Shell collected a bunch of stories and put them together in a booklet now know as the Blue Book, but with the official title of Stories from the Edge: Managing Knowledge through New Ways of Working within Shell’s Exploration and Production Business. It’s a landmark publication because it shows that a company in a […]

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