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Episode #16 – Narrative Intelligence – thoughts from Madelyn Blair
The best part of this podcast may be when Madelyn’s husband shows up and gives her a bouquet of red roses for their 40th anniversary! But the rest of it is pretty good too.
This week’s conversation begins as Madelyn Blair (www.pelerei.com) describes the idea of Narrative Intelligence. She describes a quick process she recently used at a Knowledge Management conference. Small groups address a theme (in this case lifetime learning) tell their own stories, summarize these stories into “Chapter titles” – a great idea that saves some of the context from their stories but condenses the time frame needed to share with the larger group.
We then discuss the effectiveness of using story as the primary learning vehicle for facilitating women’s leadership workshops. Because so much of leadership depends on context … women’s stories reveal the specific learning opportunities for women. And gender isn’t the only learning group that works this way. Any group dealing with a similar context will create their own tailored workshop perfect for their context when story is added to frame generalizations like competency of leadership.
Madelyn is also a master of adapting to technology without drowning in information. She shared her insights in a book called “Riding the Current” reviewed as “an excellent manual for knowledge workers, managers, and executives.” Her focus is staying up to date and she regularly updates the book on her website as tech trends shift.
I like Madelyn’s advice about email: Keep our emails short and people will respond in kind. It works on me. My editor’s last two emails contained eight and five words each and my responses were five and four words each..Brevity is a gift we can all give.
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