Been there, got the T-shirt

I always regret never succeeding as a rock star and going on European tours, so imagine how cool it was to be asked by Tony of Narrate if I fancied a few trips abroad doing anecdote circles. I dont think in hindsight I would have planned five cities in five days but the experience was well, just fantastic. Promised a T-shirt with Tour dates at the beginning this picture shows that that is exactly what all the Team got last week at our review meeting.

Having hardly ever travelled abroad before,  I did Barcelona, Rome, Milan, Berlin and Cologne. It was worth it just to be able to tweet these locations.

We each used translators to deliver our introductions and ‘complex facilitate’ in the way we were all taught on our Cognitive Edge training (its not so difficult to keep out of the content when you dont understand a word of what is being said). All anecdotes were told and recorded in the local language.

Developing a succesful experiment from our Liverpool Slave museum visits last year we got everyone present to signify each anecdote told on translated, double sided signifier sheets . ‘Multiple signification of each story’ as David Williams describes it. This multiplied the signifiying data ten fold.

I still find myself in awe of the power of a simple storycircle for encouraging staff engagement and igniting a real, uniting, sense of common understanding. It is hard to convince a client that this is the ‘greater than the sum of its parts’ element of these workshops but I have seen it consistently in all languages and with all manner of occupations from conservationists, sales force and even engineers.

We then input the data into SenseMaker for subsequent analysis of patterns and weak signals. Having the data on paper meant we only needed one version of the entry screens so my XML editting role was much simpler than the multi language screens we did last year. The data entry however was not an unsignificant task.

The overall outcomes, we self realised during our review day was:

  • powerful, previously hidden/invisible perspectives brought out visually
  • a lot more experience
  • new thoughts on how best to run future projects
  • a stronger sense of belonging in the Team,
  • more certainty about this groundbreaking approach, both what SenseMaker can deliver and the use of anecdotes/storytelling
  • and most important of all – satisfied clients
  • oh and a T-shirt full of memories, thanks Tony.

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