Springboard Stories and other stories in business

The Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C., USA 2010

From 2008 to 2010 I was invited to do a presentation at the Smithsonian Institute. In 2008 I did it with the former Director of the Knowledge Management at The World Bank, Steve Denning. From 1996 to 2001, where he left The World Bank, Steve changed the culture of the world bank going from a bank, that only had to do with lending money to projects around the world to an organisation, where information and knowledge were shared online with thousands of users. Today a very normal approach to business and knowledge within an organisation. But in those days, back in 1996, it was a revolution. And Steve and his crew desperately needed a tool, that could change this very change resistent organisation. One of the members of the team suggested storytelling and so they went searching for stories that could be used as positive examples, best practice - stories, where members of the organisation had shared knowledge and gained from it. 
These small stories for the future Steve called Springboard Stories as they have the effect of getting people to spring into the future.

A Springboard story is a story from the past, that shows the possibilities of the future and link it to the present.  This was the focus of Steve Denning´s presentation.

My focus was the three stories, I think is interesting whenever you do a presentation or share your ideas to a larger audience.

1. Who are you? A personal story to gain trust.
2. How can we become a we?
3. Future stories.

You can find these ideas written in my little two page handouts from 2010:


when I came home, I worked a little bit more on this ideas and found that it was possible to make a three steps vision for a storytelling organisation:

1. Communicate the need for change and create trust through personal stories
2. Find Springboard Stories, tell them and create action
3. Tell stories where the changes is becoming reality

If you find this interesting, please don´t hesitate to send me a mail on svend.erik.engh (att) gmail.com


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