Originally answered May 11, 2016

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Yes. In The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling, Steve Denning defines eight narrative patterns of organizational storytelling, two of which are:

  • Get others working together: Using narrative to foster collaboration to get things done. The different patterns of working together include work groups, teams, communities and networks. Whereas conventional management techniques have difficulty in generating high-performing teams and communities, narrative techniques are well-suited to the challenge.
  • Share knowledge: Using narrative to transmit knowledge and understanding. Knowledge-sharing stories tend to be about problems and have a different pattern from the traditional well-told story. They are told with context, and have something traditional stories lack, i.e., an explanation. Establishing the appropriate setting for telling the story is often a central aspect of eliciting knowledge-sharing stories.

Storytelling can be incorporated in knowledge management in a variety of ways:

  • Communities can be nurtured by having members tell stories of who they are and knowledge-sharing stories about what they have learned.
  • The effectiveness of training and communications will be enhanced by using narratives rather than dry bullet points. For example, instead of creating the usual PowerPoint slides to present the KM program, tell the stories of some typical users and how they apply the components of the KM program to help them do their jobs.
  • Lessons learned can be captured and reused with greater impact if they are told as stories rather than captured as imperatives in text format.
  • Proven practices captured as pictures, video, and audio telling the story of how to apply them will be easier to replicate than if they are in a written document.
  • Collaboration can be stimulated by using narrative to get others working together.

Written by

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/

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