I had a very enjoyable evening in London yesterday running the first of a new series of the Centre for Narrative Leadership workshops, all with a narrative connection. I had forgotten how much I enjoy telling my stories of badger steaks and bat milk. I had planned to talk, run an anecdote circle then talk some more and quickly discovered I had brought ten times more hexagons than I really needed and had enough stories to fill an additional two hours but better to be prepared for any uncertainty is my new motto.
Using a ficticious scenario that we all worked for a large organisation I split the attendees into two groups of ten and invited genuine, personal recollections of service, good and bad that they had experienced.
Lots of anecdotes and laughter later we clustered and named the themes that emerged. Short of time I simply explained how we could work these themes into constituent drivers and outcomes and produce a simplified ecosystem model of the business. Then finally I summarised how these themes, drivers and outcomes could be used to monitor a prioritised action programme, or as signifiers in the Cognitive Edge Sensemaker suite, allowing customers/staff to record/capture their service experiences at source, self signified and quickly available to make sense of the service aspects of the ecosystem.
My new material on the hexagonal world we live in seemed to go down well but my pen and ink drawings of ‘thirty interconnected tools for complex facilitators’ needs a lot more work.
I finished the session with the ‘bat milk’ story which was initially supposed to be an example of story simplification a la Steve Denning Springboard but grows and grows and grows as I add extra comment and interpretation to the political football that is organic farming and especially the now constant undermining by the Times, but thats another story.
All in all a very successful launch to what I know is going to be an interesting series of workshops nicely finished of with a refreshing pint of Fullers EPA at the Euston Flyer opposite the British Library.