Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dressing truth in story

Speaking is closely related to storytelling. The word storytelling brings to mind a gray haired grandfather telling tales to his grandchildren. You might not expect to find storytelling discussed repeatedly in a NASA magazine (ASK), or in magazine articles and books on management.

ASK magazine has a brief, wonderful article by Annette Simmons called Dressing up the naked truth. It contains the following story:

“Truth, naked and cold, had been turned away from every door in the village. Her nakedness frightened the people. When Parable found her she was huddled in a corner, shivering and hungry. Taking pity on her, Parable gathered her up and took her home. There, she dressed Truth in story, warmed her, and sent her out again. Clothed in story, Truth knocked again at the villagers’ doors and was readily welcomed into the peoples’ houses. They invited her to eat at their table and warm herself by their fire.”

In another issue of ASK magazine Dougal Maclise presents a much longer story. What's a ceiling? tells how “zero failure equals zero progress”.

Storytelling is also discussed by Stephen Denning in a nine page article in the Harvard Business Review on,Telling Tales

Another article by Bill Birchard, Once Upon A Time, reviews storytelling in business and references ten books on the subject.

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