Category: Article

By “storifying” our days, we can step back, reflect, and learn.

Victoria Ward, of London’s Sparknow, reflects on a conversation she and Thaler had about Thaler’s extensive work in oral history.

Labeling stories “dangerous” dismisses them and reduces understanding of complex situations and experiences. Stories work to surface and illuminate truth.

Listen to Thaler on BBC Radio!

“Oral history is the perfect tool for celebrating the multiplicity of voices that define a legacy and create new, legacy-worthy futures.”

“To me, vulnerability means weakness and fragility, being a target for harm and humiliation. When people are advised to be vulnerable, it seems they are being encouraged toward — even to proclaim — a willingness to be attacked.”

“We often speak too soon. Especially when we are facilitating a group discussion, we often cut off discussion too early. We can benevolently assume consensus so as to both reduce tension and move discussions forward in a short amount of time. And we can be victims of our own confirmation bias, assuming consensus and buy-in because we are hearing only what we want to hear.”

“Most international organizations today recognize that sharing stories externally about their work is a highly effective tool for increasing visibility, reaching advocacy targets, and raising funds. But sharing stories internally, and between grantmakers, grantees, and other program beneficiaries can also serve as a powerful insight-generating, problem-solving, and decision-making device.”

“Confidence invites a listener into conversation, whereas certainty shuts down conversation. Certainty excludes mutuality. Confidence allows for curiosity, and opens us to learning and growth.”

Hear Thaler in a lively discussion on community and organizational change, complexity, and story. This teleconference has already been downloaded over 1,200 times! [Scroll down mid-page to link.]