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"I told her three times to go to bed, yet there she was standing in the hallway. Angrily I snatched her up and took her back to her room... only to find her asleep in her bed." - Anon
“At its most fundamental, the value of a story lies in its ability to convey complex and multi layered ideas in a simple and memorable form to culturally diverse audiences. In contrast most communication, internal and external, tends to overcomplicate simple ideas.
When it comes to learning we don’t send children on a training course or issue them with manuals and handbooks; instead we tell them stories (often idealised) from our own past, the past of the relatives and the hero and anti-hero figures of our particular culture.” – Snowden [S1pg5]
“Before anyone allows you to influence them, they want to know, “Who are you and why are you here?” If you don’t take the time to give a positive answer to that question, they will make up their own answers—usually negative.” – Simmons
"By first asking the group to list their current strategies of influence, in a playful way, we tend to move from saying the right thing to voicing their true feelings. As the group shifts from saying what they think I want them to say to what they secretly believe to be true, the energy in the room comes alive. Divided attention becomes full attention. Listening lets them express the cynicism, resentments, and hopelessness that they usually hide because they don’t want to sound irrational or like they “aren’t a team player.”
Ask participants/small groups to reflect on the stories in their organisation (FNB), using the following questions as prompts.
• What stories do people currently tell about your organization?
• What reputation is communicated amongst your customers and other stakeholders?
• What do employees talk about when they think of the history of the company?
• What heroes, villains and mavericks appear in these stories?
They should map their observations into the Culture Web as a reflection prompt.
“You are not the hero who will save the audience; the audience is your hero. You’re the mentor who helps and encourages your audience in their journey. You’re not Luke Skywalker, you’re Yoda...”
“Influencing people you have labeled unwilling, unconcerned, or unmotivated won’t be easy until you find a new story that acknowledges their point of view and good intentions. No matter who you want to influence—they are willing, concerned, and motivated about something their story tells them is important. Only when you acknowledge the honorable aspects of the other side do you have a snowball’s chance of influencing them.” – Simmons
What does it mean
to lead and shape