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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Telling Tales on Social Media

I was about to be very cross this morning.

Yesterday on LinkedIn I was carefully considering a new article cited in the Harvard Business Review group. The article, from Psychology Today, is fascinating whatever your profession or lifestyle, because on some level we all interact with people.

The Inside Story - Psychology Today

After reading the article I decided to comment myself. As those of you who have patiently followed my blog know, I'm not exactly posting on a daily basis. While I remain very enthusiastic about social media in its many forms and can be found on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn among other sites, I maintain my blog only when I feel like I have something to say that is potentially of interest. Ah, fortunate reader, otherwise it would be all laundry, time and expense reporting and Friday night margaritas every week. The latter creeps into this blog more often than it probably should.

The article explores our need for narrative and story telling, and how we respond to it. As someone whose career has centred around people's ability to change (including mine) I commented. The crossness I refer to above resulted because I then received a message telling me my comment was under review. "Fine", I thought." That makes good sense - it would not speak well of any publication to let the logic or grammatically-bereft of the world's populace comment willy-nilly."

How wrong I was. Within minutes of posting my comment, the following appeared:

Not quite Daily Mail, but really, people. Logic, thought, grammar. Ringing any bells at all?

Whilst trying to remain calm, it was as a rather disgruntled blogger that I went about the rest of my day. I don't consider myself the expert on change, but I do think that my voice is as relevant to this discussion as any change specialist. Plus I don't make grammatical errors, or post randomly ill-considered bilge.

And what is a blog for, but for the creation of discussion where one's own passions and opinions are at the root of the posts?

So in this post I am recording for posterity my two pence / five cents. And also Tears for Fears' wonderful "Everybody Wants to Rule The World" for irony and for the pure joy of it.

Happy Tuesday!

Everybody Wants To Rule The World. (And I would quite like to be featured in HBR's comments, thanks!)

My comment: now posted in LinkedIn's Harvard Business Review group (thanks!):

"Narratives are powerful because they allow us to connect. As a former teacher, working with some of the most challenging of London's children, connecting with (e.g.) a 12 year old self-harmer, abandoned by both parents, with a shared story - however insignificant (a love of Haribo, a common interest in the weekend's Chelsea result) begins the path to connection, acceptance and trust. To teach is to develop that trust and use it to lead - and leading through stories often fast tracks that learning onto the highway. 

Now I work in change management for businesses, I have not forgotten the importance of the story. How can I get 3000 people to use a new system? They don't like change; they would prefer the old system - it has its problems but it's familiar and they can do their jobs successfully using it. 

The first step towards adopting change is understanding, so we write the once upon a time stories of how this all began. We tell the people why things are not working the way we need them to for them, for their customers and for the company to keep growing. We don't just tell this story once, we tell it again and again with new examples, with key leaders sharing this so that the same message becomes a powerful tool. This is where the stories begin. As we continue on this journey of change more and more people in the company become story tellers for change. 

Training and communications are vital components of all change pieces. It is when the trainees become agents for training other through stories, and communicate the need for change that the entire organisation commits itself to success."

1 comment:

  1. Your comment was true and very professionally relevant. Perhaps it was too well written? :)