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Narrative Survey
Narrative Survey
How well does this sentence describe you?
I often use business storytelling.
I am confident with my business storytelling ability (telling/delivering stories).
I am confident at my ability to create business stories (generating/making stories)
I know how to "story listen": getting other people to share their stories.
I know where to find good stories sources (researching stories).
I am familiar with business story structure.
I know the different kinds and categories of business stories.
I know how to utilize different senses in a business story.
I understand how to use dialogue in a story.
I understand the purpose of business stories.
1. Is this a story or a summary?
In Hewlett-Packard’s European operation in the late 1990s, executives created an internal benchmarking system that compared the time it took to process computer orders at factories in different countries. The idea was to enable managers to measure their weak spots and learn from the best. But managers at the underperforming factories were not interested in learning from others. The French factory, for instance, was worse than the one in Belgium. But the idea that they had to go to Belgium to learn from Belgian managers didn’t sit well with the French managers. They did not believe that others could teach them useful practices, in part because they viewed their problems as unique. But they were not.
2. Is this a story or a summary?
When one is vested with the role of a leader, he inherits more freedom. The power of leadership endows him with rights to greater self-determination of his own destiny. It is he who may determine the what or the how and the when and the where of important events. Yet, as with all rights, there is a commensurate, balancing group of responsibilities that impose upon his freedom. The leader cannot avoid the act of determining the what or the who or the where. He cannot avoid being prepared to make those determinations. He cannot avoid being prepared to make these terminations. He cannot avoid seeing to their implementation. He cannot avoid living with the consequences of his decisions for others and the demands these consequences impose on him. Only time will prove the merit of his stewardship.
3. Is this a story or a summary?
In 1990, a Stanford University graduate student in psychology named Elizabeth Newton discovered the ‘curse of knowledge’. She created a simple game in which she assigned people to one of two roles: ‘tapper’ or ‘listener’. Each tapper was asked to pick a well-known song, such as ‘Happy Birthday’, and tap out the rhythm on a table. The listener’s job was to simply guess the song. Over the course of Newton’s experiment, 120 songs were tapped out. Listeners guessed only three of the songs correctly, a success ratio of 2.5 per cent. But before they guessed, Newton asked the tappers to predict the probability that listeners would guess correctly. They predicted 50 per cent. The tappers got their message across one time in 40, but they thought they would get it across one time in two. Why? When a tapper taps, they are hearing the song in their head. Go ahead and try it for yourself. Tap out ‘Happy Birthday’. It’s impossible to avoid hearing the tune in your head. But the listeners can’t hear that tune. All they can hear is a bunch of disconnected taps, like a kind of strange morse code. It’s hard to be a tapper. The problem is that tappers have been given knowledge (the song title) that makes it impossible for them to imagine what it’s like to lack that knowledge. When they’re tapping, they can’t imagine what it’s like for the listeners to hear isolated taps rather than a song. This is the ‘curse of knowledge’. Once we know something, we find it hard to imagine what it was like not to know it. Our knowledge has ‘cursed’ us. It then becomes difficult for us to share our knowledge with others because we can’t readily re-create our listeners’ state of mind.
4. Is this a story or a summary?
Herb Kelleher, the longest-serving CEO of Southwest Airlines, once told someone, ‘I can teach you the secret to running this airline in 30 seconds. This is it: We are THE low-fare airline. Once you understand that fact, you can make any decision about this company’s future as well as I can’. Then he gave an example: ‘Tracy from Marketing comes into your office. She says her surveys indicate that the passengers might enjoy a light entree on the Houston to Las Vegas flight. All we offer is peanuts, and she thinks a nice chicken Caesar salad would be popular. What do you say?’ The person he was talking to stammered for a moment, so Kelleher responded: ‘You say, “Tracy, will adding that chicken Caesar salad make us THE low-fare airline from Houston to Las Vegas? Because if it doesn’t help us to become the unchallenged low-fare airline, we’re not serving any chicken salad”’.