SEAM and Storytelling


Grace Ann Rosile and David Boje

Tribal Wisdom

Farmer Joe Story - Grace Ann

Storytelling not only allows us to make sense of the past, it perhaps more importantly allows us to draw conclusions about how current actions may create future outcomes. This future-orientation is especially relevant for ethical choices.

Storytelling can be FUTURE-ORIENTED (in a future, past, present sequence).

"Antenarrative stage is shere there is the most potential for change, it is a 'bet' on the future


There are four ethical approaches that relate to storytelling:

4 ethics



Whose Voice is Dominant?

Who Tells "THE" Story?

Find the Rebel Voice
PLOT What is the Domnant Plot? Deny the Plot
BETWEEN-THE-LINES What is the Unspoken but Implied? Make the implicit Explicit

What are the key terms?

Do the terms have an opposite?

Which is the Dominant Term?

Recognize the exceptions, Marginalized/Missing Terms

Which Term is Used First?

Which Term is Better?

Reverse the Hierarchy
MORAL/PRINCIPLE So what is the resituation? What is the Moral of the Story?


Trigger Question: Tell the story of a time when you were UNFAIRLY TREATED, at work or at school.

Deconstruct, then re-story, your story. Tell the ethical implications from each of the 4 perspectives above.


See Grace Ann's trialer for Native Wisdom for Business Ethics












Day Two



What is antenarrative in storytelling inquiry methodology?

Boje (2001) invented term, ‘antenarrative’ as a method for tracking trajectory, the before-ness, and bet-ness as antenarratives transform the ‘Situation’ into its FUTURE.


4 types of antenarrative

Figure 1 - 4 types of Antenarrative

Here is an example of a spiral that has upward and dowward directions to it


Double Spiral upward and downward directions


Figure 2 - THe Upward and Downward - Double Spiral-Antenarrative




11 D Questions for Spiral Inquiry


What is the directionality of the process?
What is the datability of the process developments?
What is the duration of various processes>
What is the disclosability of the future processes revealed to you?
What is the deployment of processes, in fore-caring, fore-structuring, fore-having, fore-conceiving, in-order-to, fore-the-sake-of?
What is the destining of the processes unfolding in ways you can foretell?
What is the dwelling, in-place in the world of blacksmithing art processes?
What is the de-severance (de-distancing) of space-time-mattering
What are the drafts, updraft, and downdraft, into tighter (down) orbits, or into more open outer orbits (up), and the turning points from one draft to another
What is the dispersion of processes, too diverse, or consolidating them?
What is the detaching from being drawn into they-ness, they-relations, they-self and finding a path of ownmost authentic potentiality-for-Being-a-whole-Self?


7 STEPS FOR RESTORYING (from Rosile & Boje) - published in Ronald Sim’s(ed) book: Changing the Way We Change, published by Quorum Books, 2002, pp. 271-291.

1. CHARACTERIZE (true identity): Describe you (or family) at its best, if it were functioning perfectly and living up to all its ideals. (At the personal level, how might you be described by your favorite grandparent, relative, or teacher? What are your most outstanding qualities?) Create an “influence map.”

-what is the impact or influence of the relevant persons on the problem?

-what is the problem’s influence on the persons?

-what is the “state of affairs” at the onset, middle, and end ofthe story?

-what is the “state of affairs” we would predict for the future?

-how has the problem affected people’s relationships with themselves?

-what ideas, beliefs, etc. feed the problem?

2. EXTERNALIZE the problem: Tell us about a problem your family and you  currently faces, as if the problem were separate from any individual and is another character in the problem’s story.

-the problem is the problem

-the people are not the problem; a particular person is not the problem

-make the problem into a character(“overwork”)that the person, as agent, can


-reduces the depressing effects of problem-saturated accounts

3. SYMPATHIZE: What benefits do you (or family) derive from the problem? What feeds the problem?

-identify the dualisms supporting the status quo

-explore the dominant side of each dualism-explore the subordinate side of each dualism

-study the construction of dualisms, how they are two sides of the same coin

4. REVISE (commitment to change): Explain the ways in which this problem has had negative effects. Would people really like to be rid of this problem? Why?

-disadvantages of the problem

-explore the limitations of dualisms

-deconstruct the dualisms

5. STRATEGIZE (unique outcome) Tell about a time when there was a "unique outcome," when this problem was not as strong, or when it was completely eliminated.

Identify an existing potential to overcome the problem.

-deconstruct the problem

-”double descriptions” or alternative descriptions, so THE STORY becomes “a story”

-multiple stories & outcomes possible

-expand the alternative story--what thoughts and feelings, what happened before, after?

6. RE-HISTORICIZE (re-story) Take this unique outcome and instead of it being the exception, make it the rule, the dominant story. What evidence is there to support this "alternative" story? What might a news release say, telling about your new ability to overcome this problem? What would they say they saw in the past, which might allow them to predict your success in overcoming the current problem?

-choose the preferred new story-choose the past “unique outcomes” which support the new story

-choose the future predictions/predictors which support the new story

7. PUBLICIZE Who would say they could already see the basis for, or that they would support, this new organizational approach which is overcoming the old problem?

How might you enlist the support of these others to ensure continuing success in overcoming this problem?

-letter writing to recognize & encourage the storyteller’s efforts

-”letters of reference”

-concretize the “reauthoring” process

-tangible evidence ofsupport and interest