Storytelling in Organizations: Why Storytelling is Transforming 21st Century Organizations and Management

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Routledge, 2005 - Business & Economics - 192 pages
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This book is the story of how four busy executives, from different backgrounds and different perspectives, were surprised to find themselves converging on the idea of narrative as an extraordinarily valuable lens for understanding and managing organizations in the twenty-first century. The idea that narrative and storytelling could be so powerful a tool in the world of organizations was initially counter-intuitive. But in their own words, John Seely Brown, Steve Denning, Katalina Groh, and Larry Prusak describe how they came to see the power of narrative and storytelling in their own experience working on knowledge management, change management, and innovation strategies in organizations such as Xerox, the World Bank, and IBM.

Storytelling in Organizations lays out for the first time why narrative and storytelling should be part of the mainstream of organizational and management thinking. This case has not been made before. The tone of the book is also unique. The engagingly personal and idiosyncratic tone comes from a set of presentations made at a Smithsonian symposium on storytelling in April 2001. Reading it is as stimulating as spending an evening with Larry Prusak or John Seely Brown. The prose is probing, playful, provocative, insightful and sometime profound. It combines the liveliness and freshness of spoken English with the legibility of a ready-friendly text. Interviews will all the authors done in 2004 add a new dimension to the material, allowing the authors to reflect on their ideas and clarify points or highlight ideas that may have changed or deepened over time.

* Brings together well-known thought leaders on the importance of narrative and storytelling for organizational success
* The book's easy to read, engaging style of storytelling makes you feel part of the conversation
* Only book that includes personal stories and perspectives from Larry Prusak and John Seely Brown

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Storytelling in Organizations
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Using Narrative as a Tool for Change
Storytelling in Making Educational Videos
The Role of Narrative in Organizations
About the Authors

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About the author (2005)

John Seely Brown divides his time between being the Chief Innovation Officer of 12 Entrepreneuring, an entrepreneurial operating company in San Francisco and the Chief Scientist of Xerox Corporation. In June of this year he stepped down from being the director of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), a position he held for the last ten years. While head of PARC, Brown expanded the role of corporate research to include such topics as organizational learning, sociological studies of the workplace, complex adaptive systems and micro electrical mechanical system (MEMS). His personal research interests include digital culture, ubiquitous computing, design and organizational and individual learning. He was recently awarded the Industrial Research Institute Medal for outstanding accomplishments in technological innovation and is the co-author of a highly acclaimed book "The Social Life of Information," published by Harvard Business School Press. In November 1996, he was selected as one of the world's ten Most Admired Knowledge Leaders (Teleos). John, or as he is often called-JSB-sits on numerous boards of directors and advisory boards, is a member of the National Academy of Education and a Fellow of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence. He received an A.B. degree from Brown University in math and physics and a Ph.D. from University of Michigan in computer science. John is an avid reader, traveler and motorcyclist. Part scientist, part artist and part strategist, JSB's views are unique and distinguished by a broad view of the human contexts in which technologies operate and a healthy skepticism about whether or not change always represents genuine progress.

Program director for knowledge management at the World Bank, the massive international financial organization (it lends approximately $30 billion each year). He contributes to knowledge management and organizational learning publications and presents very frequently at leading professional management conferences.

In November 2000, Katalina Groh launched a new educational series specifically designed to explore the power and practice of storytelling. Global reactions have been overwhelming. The first programs, An Art of Possibility and Radiating Possibility have been released to more than seventy-five countries in thirty-five languages. Katalina is working with organizations to explore and share the impact of storytelling. Her films and presentations create learning experiences which inspire transformation, behavioral change and new kinds of conversations which continue long after the sessions have ended. She focuses on practical tools and results as well as narrative transitions which inspire knowledge sharing, training and communication. Katalina Groh has written, produced, and directed documentaries and independent feature films for the past ten years. She helped launch New World Entertainment's educational division, New World Knowledge, where she wrote and produced award-winning educational programming. Her work is focused on new narrative structures for educational programs, communication, and the development of new models for content structure that would create new conversations and experiences. At college, Katalina studied finance and economics. Before becoming a filmmaker, she was a trader in bonds and currencies at the Chicago Board of Trade.

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