Monday, July 2, 2007


We all would have grown up on a diet of stories. Whether Epics recounted by Grandparents, or Noddy from a book, stories are a part of any child's upbringing. Whether they be epics, fables, fairy tales ... The one mistake we assume is, that as we grow up, we outgrow stories.

That, it seems, is far from the truth. We still love stories ... aka gossip? We still love to hear about who is doing what in the Office. Who is moving into which role, who is quitting, whats the new person who joined like (there must be stories out there about me as well), and a whole lot of other stories, including soap operas.

Once we have established that we still love stories, the next thought I would like to discuss is how we can use stories for Knowledge Sharing.

Lets first see what a story does ... It educates, entertains, and inspires. This means that the story can educate and inspire in an entertaining way. And if you remember your favourite teacher in School or College, I am sure the teaching would match this description?

Which means that we should be able to educate through stories. Take this one step further, and we should be able to share knowledge through stories. But, to be able to do that, lets first look at what we think are the components of stories ... This would help us understand how storytelling can be moulded towards knowledge sharing.

Participants -- the folks who appear in the story (the Project Manager, Team Lead, and the Boss ...)

Situation -- describes the problem the participants are trying to solve (the grumpy customer)

Intentions -- the intentions of the participants (pacify the customer, and resolve the problem while de-escalating the situation)

Actions -- what they are doing (talking to customer, expediting resolution)

Tools -- the tools these folks use (Portals)

Effects -- of their actions (greater understanding of customer problem)

Context -- the details around the situation (the criticality of the problem to customer business, etc.)

Surprises -- those unexpected things ...

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