School of Management and Marketing
Full version including nine stories from different countries is available from Chris Hogan.
In organisations and society stories play a dual role, they act as powerful directives for member's behaviour, and they can also teach specific lessons. They are the "glue" that holds the culture of an organisation together. The stories provide a blueprint for "the way we are in this place", how we deal with things here, what is "ok" and "not ok". They articulate the way in which the organisation is special, different from other organisations. These stories are for the most part unconscious. At a conscious level, stories can embed values, articulate vision and give meaning to events.
Working in organisations, Finlay uses "The Hero's Journey" to enhance the empowerment of others so that they can see their situation in a different way, as an archetypal journey. (Archetypes are deep and abiding patterns in the human psyche that remain powerful and present over time) Joseph Campbell first wrote about the Hero's journey in "The Hero With a Thousand Faces" (1973). He describes the stages of the universal journey and the challenges and dangers that faced the hero at each stage. The hero is the person who "takes off on a series of adventures beyond the ordinary, either to recover what has been lost, or to discover some life giver elixir" (see Figure 1 below).
The stages are:
Finlay also uses the story of local/national heroes/heroines such as the late Fred Hollows. The process places individual experience in a larger context, work lives are seen as heroic, each person a hero in their own story. It gives meaning to the changes being experienced and strategies to cope with them.
During the reflection time the facilitator asks "What was most difficult part of the exercise?" "Why?" "Who supported, who challenged?" "How was that?"
In the de-briefing the facilitator asks "What was it like to have your story told?", "What was it like listening to a story knowing that you were going to have to repeat it next?"
The facilitator debriefs this exercise by asking individuals to show and explain their drawings. If the participants are from the same organisation, commonalities of images may occur. Perceptual gaps may occur between people from different levels of the organisation. Individuals often want to tell the story behind the image drawn.
Belbin, E. Downs, S. and Perry, P. (1981). How Do I Learn? An experimental programme to introduce young people and their teachers to the many ways of learning. Further Education, Curriculum Review and Development Unit. London, UK.
Biggs, J.B. and Telfer, R. (1987). The Process of Learning. 2nd ed. Prentice Hall. Sydney.
Byham, W. C. with Cox, J. (1988). Zapp - the lightning of empowerment. How to improve quality, productivity, and employee satisfaction. Fawcett Columbine. NY.
Boje, D. M. (1991). Learning storytelling: Storytelling to learn management skills. Journal of Management Education, 5(3, August), 279-294.
Buck, W. (1973). Mahabharata. Meridian. New York.
Campbell, J. (1973). The Hero with a thousand faces. Bollingen Series xvii. Princeton University Press. Princeton New Jersey, USA.
Chan Kim, W. and Mauborgne, R.A. (1992). Parables of Leadership. Harvard Business Review, July-August pp 123-128.
Colwell, E. (1980). Storytelling. The Bodley Head. London.
Conger, J. A. (1992). Learning to Lead - The Art of Transforming Managers into Leaders. Jossey-Bass Publishers. San Francisco, USA.
Conger, J. A. (1989). The Charismatic Leader - The Art of Transforming Managers into Leaders. Jossey-Bass Publishers. San Francisco, USA.
Crum, T.F. (1987). The Magic of Conflict - Turning a Life of Work into a work of art. Simon and Schuster. New York, USA.
Foster, S. in Zempe, R. (1990). Storytelling Back to a Basic. Training, March, 44-50.
Garmston, R.J. (1994). What's a metaphor? The Persuasive Art of Presenting. Journal of Staff Development, Spring, 15(2), 60-61.
Harris, C. (1991). Using short stories to teach international management. Journal of Management Education, 15(3, August), 374-378
Habeshaw, S. et al (1992). Problems with large classes. Technical and Educational Services. Bristol, UK.
Heron, J. (1993). Group Facilitation Theories and Models for Practice. Kogan Page. London. UK
Heron, J. (1989). The Facilitator's Handbook. Kogan Page. London, UK.
Heron, J. (1987). Confessions of a Janus Brain. Endymion Press. London, UK.
Hogan, C.F. (1992). Charisma, Ki and Kinetic Energy - Using Charisma to enhance your Personal Communication and Leadership Style. Training and Management Development Methods, Vol 6 pp 3.25-3.42 MCB University Press. Leeds, UK.
Hollier. F, Murray. K, Cornelius, H. (1993). The Conflict Resolution Network Trainer's Manual. The Conflict Resolution Network. Chatswood, Sydney. Australia.
Karpin, D. (1994). Australia's Managers are just not good enough. Talk given at the Industry Education Forum. February. Orchard Hotel, Perth. Kim, W.C. and Mauborgne, A. (1992). Parables of Leadership. Harvard Business Review, July-August. pp 123-128.
Kipling, R. (1908) pocket edition Kim. Macmillan. London.
Knowles, M. (1989) 2nd edn. The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species. Gulf, Houston USA.
Miner, R. (1992). Reflections on teaching a large class. Journal of Management Education, 16(3, August), 290-302.
Pearson, C. (1989) Expanded edition. The Hero Within - Six Archetypes we live by. Harper. San Francisco.
Pellowski, A, (1990) revised edition. The World of storytelling. The H W Wilson Co. New York.
Postman, N. in Zempe, R. (1990). Storytelling Back to a Basic. Training, March, pp 44-50.
Ramsden, P. (1992). Learning to Teach in Higher Education. Routledge. London.
Reason, P. and Hawkins, P. (1988). Storytelling as Inquiry. In Reason, P., Human Inquiry in Action. Sage London.
Salas, J. (1993). Improvising Real Life. Kendall/ Hunt Publishing Company. Iowa.
Savater, F. (1982). Childhood Regained: The Art of the Storyteller. Columbia University Press, New York.
Varga, S. (1994). Heddy and Me. Penguin. Australia.
Wilson, J.B. (1979). The Story Experience. The Scarecrow Press Inc, London
Zempe, R. (1990). Storytelling Back to a Basic. Training, March, pp 44-50.
|Please cite as: Finlay, M. and Hogan, C. (1995). Who will bell the cat? Story telling techniques for people who work with people in organisations. In Summers, L. (Ed), A Focus on Learning, p79-83. Proceedings of the 4th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, Edith Cowan University, February 1995. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf1995/finlay.html|