Storytelling passes the productivity test : Part 1 of 10

For me this year is going to be about being Productive

So, what is Productivity?

Productivity is an average measure of the efficiency of production.

Confused ?

Lets understand it in this way: For example,  Mary cleans 2 floors in 10 hrs and Joe cleans 5 floors in 10 hrs. Joe’s productivity is .5 floors per hour and Mary’s productivity is .2 floors per hour. So, Joe is more productive then Mary.

After understanding productivity the first thing I did was to put Storytelling through a litmus test of productivity. Does storytelling make an organisation productive?

Yes, it does. My research on do organisations become productive with Storytelling, led to me discovering many practical tips on how storytelling can make an organisation productive.

I will be sharing 1 tip per blog in a series of blogs named Storytelling Passes the Productivity Test.
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A few weeks ago I attended a talk By Steve Clayton, Chief Storyteller at Microsoft. In his talk he shared a story about how at one stage the Microsoft team was looking for a certain technology to enhance an existing product they had. The team was researching intensively and after hours of research they finally found someone who had the technology. The team was full of excitement reading the paper with the information on the technology and when the team got to the end of the paper they saw – Microsoft UK. What they were looking for was already within the Microsoft world. This was a highly unproductive process and that is exactly the point Steve was making too. But sadly, its an an everyday story in organisations. I call this an illness of knowledge hoarding where you don’t share but hoard.

What could have been done to avoid this?

Simply, If the existing knowledge was shared we would have never encountered this situation. So, knowledge sharing seems like a good aim to have but does it require new major investment, new project kick offs and new staff appointments ?

No, not at all

If the aim is to knowledge share we can do that by meeting every morning and sharing 2 min stories on how people are  achieving success or facing failures within the organisation. Capture some great stories and store them in our bank ( I will be covering how to set up a story bank in upcoming blogs ) for a wider community to use.

Fire brigade communities achieve most success by following this method of knowledge sharing. They term this 30 mins daily gathering a  Roll Call.

What is a Roll Call?

Roll call is a place where lessons and information that have been passed down from generation to generation are reviewed in firehouses every day. The roll call sets the tone, the direction, and the focus for your shift.

Get to see we don’t really need new major investments, new project kick offs or new staff appointments if we use storytelling for knowledge sharing and become productive

When knowledge is readily available, more accessible, and is shared throughout the organization without barriers, it enables the knowledge worker to perform their jobs more productively.

 “Knowledge is your most important raw material. Knowledge is your most important source of added value. Knowledge is your most important output if you are not managing knowledge; you are not paying attention to business” (Stewart, 2001, p.109)

The two key questions to ask yourself here are

1. Do I know how to tell a story effectively in 2 mins?

2. Why do we need to run story circles and why can’t we just share information?

More on answers to these questions in our upcoming blogs.

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Why the QR Code? The answer is in the request below we received from a regular blog reader.

"I attended your story telling course some time back. And I've enjoyed keeping up my knowledge with your blog. You may not have realised however, that the Whole of Government is implementing Internet Seperation. Hence I'm not able to access the links to read your articles. Could I suggest including a QR code in your emails so that I can use my mobile to scan it and gain immediate access to the article? It would be most helpful"