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The Ultimate Guide to Anecdote Circles
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The Ultimate Guide, to Anecdote Circles, 2006 by Anecdote Pty Ltd. Licensed under the Creative Commons License Attribution 2 5. http creativecommons org licenses by nc nd 2 5, A practical guide to facilitating storytelling. and story listening Please feel free to copy or distribute electronically via email or blog to anyone you think. would benefit from this eBook And if you re interested in more information on storytelling and. story listening visit our blog at http www anecdote com au and let us know your thoughts. Warm regards, Shawn Callahan Andrew Rixon and Mark Schenk. Shawn Callahan is Andrew Rixon PhD Mark Schenk has. one of Australia s most gained his first exposure broad experience in the. experienced narrative to story and narrative organisational dynamics. practitioners with hands on experience whilst working in Boston during the dot knowledge management and narrative. in conducting narrative projects for com boom and crash He found himself He is a regular speaker and author on a. organisations including IBM Department of hooked after attending some of the first range of topics relating to KM and. Defence NAB Australia Post and workshops on storytelling conducted by narrative and has completed numerous. BHP Billiton A consultant and researcher Dave Snowden and Steve Denning at the client projects in these areas Mark has. for more than 15 years Shawn has Institute for Knowledge Management extensive experience in developing. undertaken learning and change projects knowledge strategies and in growing and. on a variety of topics sustaining communities of practice. www anecdote com au T H E U LT I M AT E G U I D E T O A N E C D O T E C I R C L E S PRINT S AV E F O R WA R D QUIT. How we ve arrived here, Storytelling, Storytelling is a powerful tool for organisations for learning change and even evaluation. Anecdote is a consulting firm that, We are all storytellers and organisations are full of stories specialises in helping organisations.
to tackle complex problems like, organisational change learning. In some ways there can be nothing more natural As with any journey there are guides who help to navigate. and evaluation using story based, Our journey into the practice of Anecdote Circles has been. than sharing stories and experiences Just think techniques. influenced and guided by a few key people including. about what you do when you relax with your family Dave Snowden and Sharon Darwent from the Cynefin Centre. and friends you share stories Our work with now known as Cognitive Edge Brian Bainbridge with his. introduction and continued conversation on open space. organisations has taken us on a journey through, technology over yum cha Viv McWaters with her subtle. the systematic use and application of story in forms of persuasion to get us involved in improvisation. organisations This guidebook for Anecdote Circles as a way to continue learning about facilitation and story. and finally Bob Dick our wise counsellor in many aspects. is a result of that journey, of narrative techniques. www anecdote com au T H E U LT I M AT E G U I D E T O A N E C D O T E C I R C L E S 3 32 NEXT. What s our purpose, Stories In this guide, we will cover.
Business people love stories but most of them just don t know it yet Luckily many of the world s the following. leading business thinkers and business leaders point to stories as vital in understanding issues like Preparing for the voyage. Designing and developing, organisational learning cultural change leadership and evaluation 1 8 story themes and story eliciting. Using story based approaches assumes one important we distil here our practical know how which covers the. element stories Storytelling is in our nature but it seems seascape of skills tricks tips and exercises useful in running Setting sail. that many of us have lost or forgotten the gentle art of successful fun and inspiring Anecdote Circles The physical space guidelines. listening to and telling stories especially in organisations and the warm up. For us a seascape is an apt metaphor because running. How can you elicit stories How can you help people share narrative projects is like navigating an uncharted and The long haul Being a story. their stories How can you facilitate Anecdote Circles unpredictable sea The end point is unknowable in detail listener and supporting the group. How can you become a skilled story listener We will tack back and forth as we discover new routes and Surviving stormy weather. This guide is for anyone wanting to review the ways to avoid looming disasters At times it will be exhilarating. while at others it will be uncomfortable even uneasy The return The warm down. foster story listening and storytelling In particular we. focus on the art and science of running Anecdote Circles Those on the journey will learn about themselves their. In writing this guidebook we have drawn upon our collective fellow travellers and the seas that they traverse. experience running hundreds of Anecdote Circles and. www anecdote com au T H E U LT I M AT E G U I D E T O A N E C D O T E C I R C L E S 4 32 NEXT. Why bother with Anecdote Circles, What s really happening A necdote C ircles can. be used as a process, to overcome the limitations, of traditional interview and. survey approaches, Interviews and surveys are no longer sufficient to find out what s really happening in your business for team and relationship. Organisations are becoming more complex every day and as the number of connections increase building. for learning lessons in, understanding root causes becomes impossible We need a way to make sense of the messiness we face.
project teams, Interviews and surveys typically come laden with Stories and anecdotes reflect the messiness reveal values for conflict resolution. and beliefs and when told in a group create an informal to help collect stories for. pre determined thoughts of what the investigators, environment of exploration that invariably reveals insights evaluating intangible. might find and interviewees and survey respondents one could never predict from the outset Anecdote Circles difficult to evaluate projects. seem to fall into a mode of response based on what are how we discover these stories But that is not all. they think the enquirer is wanting to hear Anecdote Circles are more than a story elicitation. technique they are an intervention in themselves Some. might say you shouldn t start to run Anecdote Circles unless. you are really serious about change Once an anecdote. circle process is started the change has already begun. www anecdote com au T H E U LT I M AT E G U I D E T O A N E C D O T E C I R C L E S 5 32 NEXT. The philosophy behind Anecdote Circles, To some Anecdote Circles may appear like Seth Common sense tells us to avoid shaving yaks. Godin s amusing turn of phrase Yak shaving 9 While we agree you can waste heaps of time on. Yak shaving is the last step of a series of steps such sidetracks there is a time and place for yak. that occur when you find something you need shaving you can discover many useful things on. to do these journeys Who would have known that, pillows can be stuffed with yak hair And. I want to wax the car today, A few words before, everyone needs a pillow on a journey right.
Oops the hose is still broken from the winter Anecdote Circles encourage a semi controlled. I ll need to buy a new one at Home Depot, yak shaving and this is their strength Each. But Home Depot is on the other side of the anecdote told triggers memories of past events. Tappan Zee bridge and getting there without that in many cases haven t been thought about. An anecdote circle differs from a focus group my EZPass is miserable because of the tolls for years The stories in turn reveal the values. But wait I could borrow my neighbor s of the tellers and through them the values of. in one specific way there is a lack of focus the organisation they work in Yak shaving turns. Yes we explore themes but we are not testing Bob won t lend me his EZPass until. out to be an essential process, a hypothesis or searching for a single correct I return the mooshi pillow my son. borrowed though, answer An anecdote circle is less concerned. And we haven t returned it, with the group s opinions and judgements because some of the stuffing fell. out and we need to get some yak, rather it seeks to elicit experiences anecdotes.
hair to restuff it, and stories And the next thing you know. you re at the zoo shaving a yak all, so you can wax your car. www anecdote com au T H E U LT I M AT E G U I D E T O A N E C D O T E C I R C L E S 6 32 NEXT. Preparing for the voyage, The want of a chronometer for the voyage was all that now worried me In our. newfangled notions of navigation it is supposed that a mariner cannot find his. way without one and I had myself drifted into this way of thinking My old. chronometer a good one had been long in disuse It would cost fifteen dollars. to clean and rate it Fifteen dollars For sufficient reasons I left that timepiece at. home where the Dutchman left his anchor I had the great lantern and a lady. in Boston sent me the price of a large two burner cabin lamp which lighted the. cabin at night and by some small contriving served for a stove through the day. Joshua Slocum 1900 Sailing Alone around the World, As in all expeditions and voyages there is a need for preparation Preparation. provides for those things that we expect to happen during the voyage and helps. us deal with surprises Ironically preparation also helps us improvise. I n preparing to run an anecdote circle, we t y picall y focus on three k e y aspects.
Designing effective themes, Selecting participants and the invitation. Crafting story or anecdote eliciting questions, www anecdote com au T H E U LT I M AT E G U I D E T O A N E C D O T E C I R C L E S 7 32 NEXT. effective themes, While Anecdote Circles lack focus they do have. a general direction which is provided by the, themes we choose to explore. Selecting participants, We try to keep the number of themes to a minimum as the.
discursive nature of the enquiry expands to fill the allotted An anecdote circle normally sees a Diversity is essential for selecting participants. time We ve found that three or less is a good number for Ensure the participants consist of a mix of. group of people from four to 12 come characteristics such as age gender length. a typical 90 minute anecdote circle The themes that you. choose inform the design of the story eliciting questions together to share their experiences of service race role seniority cynics. and enthusiasts and influential and well, S ome examples of themes which we around one or more themes networked participants As a rule of thumb. have explored are aim towards engaging about 10 of the. The participants might have performed the, target population in your selected group. Staff morale same role in the organisation worked on. of participants Of course this heuristic breaks, projects together or formed part of a larger. Achieving the best from staff down as organisations get larger. cohort of people within the organisation, Anecdote It is important to avoid including people in the. Risks and rewards These people are often peers Anecdote Circles from different levels in an organisation s. Workplace safety Tip It is important that the participants share a common hierarchy We remember one anecdote circle in which we. or experience For example if you are tackling a included the managing director his direct reports and a. Talent management company wide issue such as aligning brand and customer couple of people from the next level down in the hierarchy. service then you might select people who identify as In the middle of a junior staff member s retelling of an. Leadership customer service specialists or people responsible for experience the managing director blurted out That s not. developing the brand strategy Conversely if the boundaries what happened And with that short outburst the session. are tight and define a project team then people who identify was effectively over Everyone clammed up It is important. Exercise To generate a set of themes invite the project team to individually with the team should participate Bringing participants to remember that these sessions work best when only. brainstorm as many issues they can think of that are relevant to the planned together who are peers can bring an anecdote circle to life peers are present. investigation Then assemble the team around a whiteboard and brainstorm Participants will have a common level of experience and. as a group all the issues of interest Cluster the issues and name each cluster understanding and they will often find their stories sparked. These cluster names become the name of the themes to remembrance on hearing the stories of their colleagues. www anecdote com au T H E U LT I M AT E G U I D E T O A N E C D O T E C I R C L E S 8 32 NEXT. The invitation, Ideally it s best to seek, volunteers to participate Example D ear N a.
me exploring, th e m e by partic, to join us X at ti. invitation, in Anecdote Circles and e y o u d a te ides. like to in, v it uled o n as it p vro, an open invitation can be We would o te C ir cle sched co m p a n y nam e d. c tivit y fo, in a 9 0 m portant a eriences, effective The following. is a n im r co ll e c tive exp n theme, anecdote circle invitation ve n u e Z.
A practical guide to facilitating storytelling and story listening The Ultimate Guide to Anecdote Circles www anecdote com au THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO ANECDOTE CIRCLES PRINT SAVE FORWARD QUIT lt 1 32 N E X T gt A practical guide to facilitating storytelling and story listening Please feel free to copy or distribute electronically via email or blog to anyone you think would benefit from

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