Storytelling

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Story telling is an ancient human art, which many of us have assigned to professionals -- novels, film-makers, television writers and so on. However, each of us can learn to tell good stories and can use stories to understand intricate situations more completely and to move people to a different understanding of the world in which we live. In this class, we will use the skills of storytelling and oral societies to help us identify a research agenda for creating the scenarios we need.


In preparation for the class on Thursday 4 November, I would like each person to prepare the following:

1) Think of a story that you can tell in 3 minutes.

2) Think of a saying that is still in use.

3) Think of an unwritten law you have seen working in your family or your workplace or school.

4) Think of something in society around you that you have noticed but cannot explain. This should be something that you know is important because it gives you a physical sensation, such as a tingling in your spin, or a twitch between your shoulder blades or a punch in your stomach.

5) Finally, if you could ask the Oracle at Delphi anything about the future of the internet, what would you like to know?

Two national, civil society scenario projects you might find interesting can be found on the web at:

[1] Tanzania [2]Kenya

Take a look. Can you tell which one of these was the first project we did in East Africa?

See you all tomorrow evening,

Barbara Heinzen


CLASS PLAN - storytelling & scenario research 4 November 2004

Warm up exercises 1)Blind-men’s hands inarticulate knowledge, unique & intricate

2)Tell 2 stories (3 minutes each) Which held our attention best? Why?

Introduction

1)oral v literate societies log-hammer-chisel-saw: which is the odd one out?

2)Scenarios as a political process: the politics of learning Assembly line research versus pragmatic integrating research

3)Scenarios and the facilitation of learning using the skills of oral society Good scenario work requires good facilitation for learning

Who is this for? 1)Who is this for? Is there an imaginary client: person & organisation?

2)What do we/the client want to achieve? Why are scenarios needed? Organisational cohesion? Managing uncertainty? Shared learning?

3)What is the official future? In this group of people? What important assumptions about the future and the ways things work does this client make? Existing plans, myths & stories – what do they tell us?

Asking good questions

1)Collect on three different walls/white boards Sayings Unwritten laws Oracle questions

2)Silently study all three walls separately & together What do we notice? What do we learn?

3)What research questions should we ask?


BREAK!


Storytelling & the “Felt Sense” Work in 3-4 small groups The Felt Sense – your physical response to intricacy. See [3]for more information about using the Felt Sense to understand intricate situations.

1)Write down & share all “Felt Sense” observations in group A felt sense observation is something you have noticed, to which your body reacts, but you cannot explain (Put each observation out, visibly, once it has been explained. Keep observations visible to help develop your group’s story)

2)Use all the “Felt Sense” observations to create 1 group story

3)Tell your story to the rest of the class

4)What research questions fall out from these stories?

What Research Agenda & Organising Question? NOTE: THIS DISCUSSION DID NOT TAKE PLACE AS WE RAN OUT OF TIME

1)What are the most interesting questions? By logic By gut feel – ‘felt sense’

2)How best might you answer the different questions? What approaches?



CLASS NOTES OF WHAT WE DISCUSSED

Class notes – Storytelling – 4 November 2004 RSM

Who is this scenario exercise for? What is his ‘Official Future’?

IT IS FOR DANIEL (& for us)

DANIEL’S OFFICIAL FUTURE WORLD WILL BE RULED BY WIKI HE WILL GET HIS BOOK PUBLISHED HE WILL BE THE NEXT DEAN OF RSM HE WILL STILL COMMUTE FROM AMSTERDAM HE WILL HAVE ENOUGH HAIR TO PUT IN A PONYTAIL

Our official future MBAs lead to better jobs Economy will be same in 2 months More volatile economy in next 5 years World will be a more dangerous place in next 5 years (a minority voice – it will be safer)

What do we want to achieve with this scenario exercise?

       WHAT DANIEL WANTS:
       WRITE A BOOK

PUBLISH ARTICLES IN THE FT WANTS THE CLASS TO LEARN HOW TO DO SCENARIOS WANTS TO TEST THE WIKI

What we want to achieve? Learn to do scenarios so I can apply it later Be convinced this is really good so I can convince my org. In several years time, can I see that we got it right? Sell this technique to McKinsey or Boston Consulting Pass the class Become foremost experts re the Internet


List common sayings, unwritten laws & questions to the oracle at Delphi

SAYINGS 1. You better have one bird in the hand than 10 in the sky (dutch) 2. Don’t make a storm in a water glass 3. When it rains it pours 4. Turkish: Ates olmayan yerden duman cikmaz (if there is smoke, there is always fire) 5. Taking old cows from the ditch (bringing up old business unnecessarily) 6. End of the road, bombs to the eyebrows, terminal – (Israeli slang expressions for something that is great) 7. What’s up! (American ad for beer) 8. Whether you can make things happen depends on the fate instead of yourself. 9. Even a rich man can fall. 10. Even a monkey can fall from the trees. (both expressions warning people to take care, to not slip up) 11. Si vis pacem, para bellum (plan for peace prepare for war) 12. Big words and fat meat don’t get stuck in the throat. 13. When it rains on the priest it drips on the clerk. 14. L’habit de fait pas le moine. – Appearances are sometimes deceptive, don’t judge by appearances. 15. Spuhe-mi cuaine te admir, ca sa’-ti spun cine esti. Tell me who are your true friends in for order for me to tell you who you really are. 16. No diguis que esta acabat fins que no hi siqui al sac I beu eliagat. (don’t say it is finished until it is in the bag and well tied. 17. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill (Dutch equivalent: don’t make an elephant out of a fly) 18. Don’t sell the hide until you skin the bear. 19. It’s as simple as that … isn’t it?


UNWRITTEN LAWS 1. Jante (Scandinavian expression to say no one should think he/she is better than anyone else, even when very fortunate) 2. Eat whatever’s in the fridge/ don’t plan for meals 3. Wash your hands after a bathroom visit 4. Standing in a queue is entirely optional (Israel) 5. Father and mother always sit at the same place when eating. 6. Respect elderly people 7. When your girlfriend asks, “Do these jeans make me look fat?” Always say No! 8. Never sit next to a stranger if there is a free seat somewhere else. 9. If the doorbell rings unexpectedly, we’re not at home. 10. Always put the toilet seat down. 11. Never challenge your boss in public 12. Use underwear 13. Say thank you when people give you something. 14. Always complain about life even if you are enjoying it! 15. It’s a taboo not to buy drinks when you are in a ‘round’! 16. Raise your hand if you want to speak in class 17. Appealing to Big boss without saying to Supervisor, requires/leads you to ‘harakiri’.

QUESTIONS FOR THE ORACLE 1. Is it going to be widely available in undeveloped countries? 2. Will there be fore SPAM mail? 3. Who will control the internet? 4. What is the future of the internet? 5. Will we ever be able to separate our personal lives from the internet or will it keep on following us? 6. Will we be able to work at home in the next 5 year period? 7. Will we be using IfFi-based mobile phones in 5 years time? 8. What will be the dominant language on the Internet? 9. Will we need human memory in the futre (2015) or will it simply be stored on the internet? 10. In the next five years, when does the stock price of Google reach the highest point and when lowest? 11. Will Hillary be president in 2008? 12. Is the internet a sustainable tool? Won’t there be another one that will revolutionize again the way we communicate, live, do business? 13. How are anonymous chat websites controlled?

What research agenda do we see from these exercises?

Research questions based on sayings & unwritten laws

1. How might social interaction be replaced by the internet? 2. How do you build trust on the internet? 3. When, how might the internet have its own saying, because it has become a natural part of our lives? 4. Mala hierba saying è Watch out for hackers! What is the future of hacking? 5. Appearances are deceptive è What will be the meaning of identify on the internet? 6. Will internet change anyone’s beliefs? 7. Will there be laws for the internet (written and unwritten)? 8. Unwritten internet law: don’t send questionable content to a work email address, but to hotmail address instead.