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OUR NEXT EVENT May 22nd/2017 9:00 AM US/Mountain (GMT-0600)

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TOPIC:
Storytelling in Strategy: How to Restory a Dead Strategy


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WHAT IS IT: I solve problems in how your organization is storytelling its strategy, humanity, sustainability, and ethics. To ask your STORYTELLING questions I have a helpful tool: https://camo391.wufoo.com/forms/q1aia4w808kux22/ or, contact me at davidboje@gmail.com

Get Started --> RESTORY YOUR ORGANIZATIONS' STORYTELLING!

Get on list for upcoming Storytelling Events and our STORYTELLING ORGANIZATIONS annual conference

ASK Boje about Storytelling!

Storytelling is an art. We are storytelling animals. Storytelling is my focus. Storytelling is what I do in teaching, writing, consulting, and research for 35 years. See Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcsPh-5QbdE I love to help people and organizations find this storytelling path. It is easy to become a character in someone else's master narrative. It is more helpful to find your own living story path. Its a matter of finding you voice. Join us at our annual conference http://davidboje.com/quantum We have a mix of storytelling consulting practitioners, researchers, and clients who celebrate finding their own living story. I work with my colleagues in Denmark in two venues. One is the Material Storytelling Lab in Aalborg University where I am said to be the godfather to the lab. Material Storytelling (Anete Strand's pioneering dissertation and lab direction), is based on Karen Barad's work (and a bit of my own), to look at the intra-activity of 'social' with the 'material'. It is part of a huge movement called 'sociomateriality.' We use the term 'quantum storytelling' to get at how there is no separation between social and material. We are both/and. In Denmark I work with TRUE STORYTELLING, a project by Jens Larson, and Lena Larson, to do storytelling boot camps. True Storytelling is possible in consciousness raising boot camps of self-transformation and critical reflexive inquiry into our own habituated thoughts and actions within micro-physics systems, and embedded macro-political systems of power. It is possible to recover an agency of resistance to normalization under the detailed disciplinary technologies of the institutions we work in.

I hope to see you at our events. To get on our mailing list, click here. David

 

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Storytelling Strategy Attunement Process Model © David M. Boje (May 1, 2017)

Storytelling Strategy Attunement (SSA) is an ongoing process that can be summarized in eight stages.

 

Stage 1: An Ensemble of Inquirers (Ensemble in French means 'together') gathers to put current 'narrative strategies' of an organization into question. The Ensemble questions the naive correspondence assumptions.

Assumption One: That Narrative Strategy's Framework (signifiers) corresponds to 'real' situation (signified). What are the contradictions?

Assumption Two:That Narrative Strategy does not have its Counternarratives. What are the counternarratives?

Assumption Three: That Narrative Strategy epistemology is viable without context in spacetimemattering.

Stage 2: Directionality by dialogical inquiry sessions. Mikhail Bakhtin (1981) has a series of dialogisms that constitute what I call the 'storytelling organization' and its strategic processes (Boje, 2008). This is the first move towards World Making (developing several possible worlds of strategic possibility).

Dialogism One: Polyphonic Storytelling. Polyphony means many-voices (as in a sym-phony). What are all the voices who are telling organization strategy narratives (& counternarratives) and all the living stories (people living the strategy, walking the talk)? Polyphony is an attribute of story, while according to Bakhtin, narrative is always monologic (driven to reduce the polyphony of story one logic-framework-fits-all). The difference between narrative (1-logic) and polyphonic story (many-logics) is seen in how one 'living story' cannot be told without contextualizing it in telling another living story, until a living story web of many people are co-telling (which is why an Ensemble Inquiry, Stage 1 to 7, is necessary to get to SSA-8, where upon there is collapse into narrative strategy 1-logic and its time to repeat stages 1 to 7).

Dialogism Two: Stylistics. What kinds of styles is the storytelling strategies happening? Letters, emails, social media sites, speeches, technical writing, annual reports, hallway conversations, theatric enactments, or is it in material storytelling (Strand, 2011), and mostly unarticulated in words, texts, speech acts. Here Stages 1 to 7 are discovering, by encounter, the multiple stylistics, and their dispersion in the storytelling organization, and articulations of strategy, in its processes are nearby, but not yet discernible directly (Stage 3 needs to unfold before Stage 4 Ensemble Inquiry becomes possible).

Dialogism Three: Chronotopes. A chronotope is Bakhtin's bow to Einstein's relativity theory of physics, how spacetime interact. What are all the spacetime (chronotopes) in which storytelling strategy is being enacted by the organization participants? Barry and Elmes (1997) pioneering article examines two of Bakhtin's chronotopes: the adventure narrative of SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, & threat), and the chivalric chronotope (as in chivalry, the codes and values, such as McDonald's service, speed, cleanliness). Our work has been to explore the seven more chronotopes in McDonalds (Haley, U. C.; Boje, D. M. (2014). Storytelling the Internationalization of the Multinational Enterprise. Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS). Click here for pre-publication draft.) and Burger King (Boje, D. M., Haley, U. C., & Saylors, R. (2015). Antenarratives of organizational change: The microstoria of , Vol. 69(2) 391–418. http://hum.sagepub.com/content/69/2/391.full.pdf+html).

Dialogism Four: Architectonics, defined as intraactivity of ethics, cognitive, and aesthetic discourses. What are the storytelling ethics in play, or not in play? Storytelling is a domain of discourse (along with tropes, metaphor, unstoryable discourse, pre-discursive antenarratives). A storytelling ethics (more or less) is in interactivity with cognitive (narrative) framing that is decontextualized, and aesthetic ways of knowing (architecture, sculpture, material ways articulating). Note: SSA is only in the beginning stages, and the meaning is still elusive.

Stage 3: Disclosability of Process in Ontic (Empiric) Circumstances. Strategy-as-process is the new breakthrough (Chia, 1996; Tsoukas & Hatch, 2001) and its taking an ontological turn, moving beyond narrative epistemology (see stage 1 assumptions).It is moving into process. Disclosability, at this stage is not ontologic, it is ontic (the empiric facts of the strategic situation of the organization). For more on the differences between ontic, epistemologic, ontologic, and pragmatic, please see Boje (2014). The process structures are present-at-hand, in the ontic inquiry, but not yet 'ready-to-hand' in ontologic process interpretation (Heidegger, 1962).

Stage 4: Pre-Narrative (Antenarrative) Inquiry. Here disclosability in Ensemble Inquiry moves beyond epistemology dualisms (Stage 1), still exploring the dialogisms (Stage 2), and beyond ontic positivism (Stage 3). The process structures become disclosed as we move past the fog (blinders) of narrative logocentrism (its preference for correspondence duality between objective 'real' and subjective language/cognition/schemata). The breakthrough in stage four, is in four kinds of fore-caring:

Fore-Having, (before-narrative coheres by retrospective sensemaking) is the preparation in advance of the strategic process being enacted. In a sense, Stages 1 to 3 is preparation for fore-having. A simple example, is how parents prepare for a newborn before the birth, by baby-proofing the house, obtaining clothing, diapers, crib, and so, necessary to baby life.

Fore-Sight, (bets on the future), is prospective sensemaking, making bets on possible worlds arriving from the future. This is an act of World Making.

Fore-Conception, (beneath), is the developing new language, new symbols, new materialities, in order to have some way of making sense of the SSA.

Fore-Structure, (between), is all the spacetimemattering stuff you have to set up to have an ontological structure of meaningful strategic attunement to situation and context.

Fore-Care (becoming) is all of the above in interplay, which is summarized in this figure by Marita Svane. The fore-caring antenarrative process is what connects the living story webwork to the coherence framing of narrative and counternarrative conflicts.

Marita Svane (Aalborg University) and I (Boje, 2014) have been developing a model of how Antenarrative operates in the Before, Beneath, Between, Bets, and Becoming. Narratives and Counternaratives get restoried by antenarrative processes.

Stage 5: Authentic Disclosedness of Ensemble's Abductive Inference. At Stage 5, Storytelling Strategy is ready to hand, in the Ensemble's Authentic-Being-One's-Self (Heidegger, 1962).The Ensemble of inquirers has their own potentiality-for-Being, and can co-disclose (at a higher level of disclosability, than Stages 1 to 4). Strategy becomes what Chia (1996: 215) calls the "breath of life" and is embedded in processes, at least partially understood. The inquiry is by abduction, Charles Sanders Peirce's logic of the wild guess in-the-moment of an encounter Being-in-the-Situation.

Stage 6: Ensemble Being Resolutely Surrendered to the Way of the Situation Actively Restories its Strategy Process. In Stage 6, strategy-as-process is almost fully disclosed. In Stage 4, it is disclosed by fore-caring in advance of its actual arrival, in Stage 5 it is disclosed by abduction, but in Stage 6, there is resoluteness by the Ensemble, and the process in its arrival is being actively restoried. Here, I mean an 'Embodied Restory Process' (ERP), not a textual-metaphor or narrative textualized restorying (White & Epson, 1990). This is a crucial stage, the embodiment rather than the disembodiment typical of narrative strategy. It is feeling and thinking by living the storytelling strategy, in resoluteness. How resolute is the Ensemble in living the Storytelling Strategic Process? Here attunement and disclosability are at their highest, but the risk of collapse into narrative strategy reduction and branding sets in, to rigify the process, so restorying becomes impossible.

Stage 7: Tamara-Land Situation has Spatial Overtones. The 'There' is grounded in, and disclosedness is here and now, contextualized.

Tamara-Land, the stories you chase room-to-room has Spatial Overtones

Tamara-Land (Boje, D. M. 1995. "Stories of the Storytelling Organization: A Postmodern Analysis of Disney as 'Tamara-land.'" Academy of Management Journal. 38(4): 997-1035.* http://business.nmsu.edu/~dboje/papers/DisneyTamaraland.html or print out the PDF version

In Tamara-Land you are in one room, chasing stories, while in other rooms, there is simultaneous storytelling. As you move from scene to scene, room to room, in your workday, the meaning of the storytelling you encounter, depends upon the sequence of rooms visited, the hallway catch conversations share with people who went to different rooms. The storytelling organization in Tamara-Land is spatialized, and its temporalized, and its mattering. And Barad (2007) tells us space-time-mattering does not have dashed, in inseparability of spacetimemattering. At issue in Stage 7, is how SSA in Tamara-Land is a spacetimemattering entanglement. It is what we in the trade, call quantum storytelling, or material storytelling, or sociomateriality of storytelling strategy attunement (SSA).

There is a downside, the architecture itself, the information networks, are getting set in place, are spatializing and temporalizing, and mattering in ways that make restorying strategy processes most difficult.

Stage 8: Storytelling Strategy Attunement. SSA is transition, the storytelling-in-action, its sociomateriality, being put into words,perhaps for the very first time. And that means the narrative forces, the narrative dualities, the Ensemble worked so hard to transcend in Stages 1-4, are not in Stages 5-7, and Stage 8 articulation, becoming narrativized, locked into linear plot (Beginning, Middle, and End). And its a place and time, a stage to head back to Stage 1, and gather and Ensemble to get into the stages of disclosability, the fore-caring for what new situation and context has arrived, and is in arrival, that has gone unnoticed.


 

This next model, summarizes the SSA in its processes and situation, focusing on the restorying by retrospective (narrative) and prospective (antenarrative) sensemaking.

David M. Boje, Ph.D. 2 mins ago

blog post: Storytelling Process Model

 

Storytelling is an ongoing process of restorying the past and the present. There is an antenarrative (before) narrative, and as possible world futures are antenarratives, there is a feedback loop that changes storytelling attention and performances. As storytelling animals we exist in Living Story Webs, engage in antenarrative processes that construct narratives and counternarratives.

 

CLICK HERE TO ASK BOJE ANY STORYTELLING QUESTION?

This is the model for new book I am writing for Routledge publishers. It applies Storytelling In Action to Organization Research

Boje's New Book

 

BOJE'S SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP ADVENTURES

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Find out the latest in Antenarrative BLOG!

 

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SLIDES FOR SEAM’s ‘Storytelling Dialectical Method’ and the Failure of Appreciative Inquiry as a Scientific Method of Organizational Development and Change June 8 ODC Lyon Presentation

Here is Paper for the June ODC Lyon Presentation