Category: Article

“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.]

“Businesses are starting to understand that in a complex market, dealing with complex topics and complex people, story elicitation results in greater and deeper insights. Whether you are working to communicate a message to customers or the needs of customers to your future bosses, consider applying story as a tool for conveying complex emotions and […]

“In every organization, there is the big story—the organizational narrative—and the smaller stories that support, reiterate, and personalize the larger narrative. Your organization’s narrative is at the core of its values, mission, and actions. Your brand is strengthened when the smaller stories are consistently refreshed and shared.”

“Because stories are powerful, and because they are wholly owned by the person who shares them, we have an ethical obligation to use story in ways that do no harm. Whether we are asking for stories to better understand an organizational challenge, to use in our organizational communications, or for an advocacy campaign, our goal should be to empower, not exploit…”

“I went to SXSW looking to explore my contention that, in an increasingly loud, complex, and data-saturated world, a smart leader’s role is not to add more information but to communicate meaning. That certainly was the subtext of a fascinating discussion I sat in on titled ‘Maps of Time: Data as Narrative.”

“Another problem with values is that they are non-hierarchical. We like to think that our lives are neatly ordered, and that we, as emotionally intelligent adults, have formed clear moral frameworks that guide our decision-making. We will always value family over work, for instance, or community over autonomy. But even if we believe that some […]