Sign up to get Steve Denning's FREE newsletter


You'll get tips, tricks and advance chapters from Steve's forthcoming book. Click here to sign-up for newsletter.

Storytelling In The News: #165

Summary of storytelling in the news for May 2004

May 31, 2004

May 2004 was marked by the continuing expansion of the explicit coverage of organizational storytelling in mainstream business media.

Harvard Business Review began the month with the publication of my article, Telling Tales: #136

The Financial Times of London had a column on storytelling on May 10, (#145) as well as my reply to that column on May 24, pointing out that the millennia-old phenomenon of storytelling could hardly be considered a fad. 160. (#161)

Other articles appeared

in Many Worlds #139

in ComputerWorld (#147)

in Marketing Professionals (#149

in The Herald (Glasgow, UK) (#154),

Business fiction

While I preparing for a panel discussion at BEA in Chicago on Saturday June 5, it suddenly dawned on me -- these are not just books, but also huge business phenomena. Who Moved My Cheese? has generated more than $100 million in revenue, and business fiction now plays a prominent and increasing role in the lists of best-selling books. So I decided to start a series of reviews of (a) major and (b) interesting books -- two categories that don't always correlate! The first three reviews are:

Who Moved My Cheese?


Patrick Lencioni's fables

Springboard stories

There were several stories about generating change, including the prospects of Linux #158; the saga at NAB #157; and IDEO's work in innovation #144.

John Kotter's (belated) endorsement of the role storytelling as a tool for communicating change was also noted: #140

How stories trump images


A couple of dramatic items showed how stories trump images, no matter how vividly images stick in the memory. Images contain merely information: to turn the image into knowledge, we have to go to the story.

Thus no matter how striking they may be, their meaning lies not in the image itself, but in the story we read into the image: #137. On May 15, we saw how similar images in the US and the UK had diametrically opposed outcomes: #150.

Knowledge-sharing stories

Among the numerous stories about sharing knowledge, perhaps the most striking was the item on what's involved in learning to become a Toyota executive: #138.

There were a number of stories illustrating how markets around the world rise and fall on the basis of stories, whether it's global markets: #153, or panic in India: #151, or the US economy:#142 #141 #146: or merely Krispy Kreme doughnuts #143

Stories of identity

We explored the issue of authenticity in the neutral context of food #156 as well as in the highly charged U.S. presidential campaign with the storylines of the candidates #155

Stories about values

Stories about values were also present, with popular villains Dick Grasso of the NYSE #161 and Martha Stewart #159

All in all, it was another intriguing month of organizational storytelling!

Learn more about leadership and business storytelling

Read The Leader's Guide to Storytelling.

Read the Introduction
Watch the video
& pick up these amazing gifts!

Join our on-line
discussion group:

the World
of Work"