Be careful what you wish for

Back in June 2001 I was working in English Nature and for two years had been pursuing as many opportunities to engage with storytelling in all its forms. In those days it was necessary to support everything you did with numerical targets. So , in the strong context that this was a proposal in the quickly emerging field of knowledge management, this is what I proposed to senior managent and it was accepted as an 18 month project which I managed to keep going a full 7 years until I left in 2008.


My vision of what we could achieve if successful:

English Nature regarded as a major player in Knowledge Management

Our key messages influencing Industry and businesses throughout the world especially FTSE 100

4 papers published telling our story in prestigious K M publications

Presentations at 10 major conferences telling of our story and experiences

7 more NNR ‘sands of time’ published

14 local teams visited to deliver a package that would include:

  • Presentation based on our story
  • Story telling workshop
  • Science network analysis
  • NNR ‘sands of time’ blueprint

A knowledge map of our communities and knowledge assets

Involvement in Dave Snowden/Ch 4 Television programme on Story telling

A story bank on the Intranet/Internet to be used by all staff for learning, teaching and publicity

Involvement of local Peterborough ethnic communities on story telling

Indirect effects such as:

  • Improved learning, succession, apprenticeship, communication and Knowledge management throughout English Nature.
  • Attraction of more sponsorship for publications and events
  • Stronger links with local communities
  • Greater promotion of English Nature and its key issues/messages
  • Promotion of NNR network
  • Greater staff loyalty, pride, enthusiasm, respect
  • Discover greater knowledge about our reserves

Ron Donaldson, IDT 20th June 2001

As you can imagine, not everything above happened as planned, I had completely forgotten about the proposed Dave Snowden TV programme, but I gave them my best shot and several of the above ‘experiments’ did generate desirable shifts and gave me, as I used to regularly say at conferences, “the best job in the world”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s