Employing storytelling as a vehicle for knowledge sharing at KMWorld 2022
Storytelling strategies employ narrative frameworks as a vehicle and a catalyst for knowledge sharing in an organization. Modern enterprise storytelling is isolated, unidimensional, short-term, ineffective, and without culture or skill; in order to leverage our innate affinity of storytelling for knowledge management, organizations must implement strategies to perpetuate effective storytelling that particularly serve enterprise needs.
At KMWorld 2022, Johel Brown-Grant, KM lead, U.S. Department of State, and author of Knowledge Management & the Practice of Storytelling, detailed his method toward empowering storytelling to cultivate a shared knowledge base within an enterprise during his workshop, “Storytelling As Strategy: How Narrative Shapes Knowledge.”
“Stories are the best way to get to the experience; experience is the story, and the story is the experience,” said Brown-Grant. “Putting together a story is the act of putting together knowledge.”
Brown-Grant explained that there are four core sections included in his strategy for storytelling-based knowledge sharing: people, transfer, development, and growth.
The “people” tenet focuses on who is telling the stories, the types of audiences ingesting the stories, and who is capturing those stories. Evaluating these elements as it pertains to your organization is critical toward how you can improve and encourage a storytelling strategy.
“Development,” another core section, revolves around what stories are needed and how they are generated. Determining what an organization needs, in regards to how to promote storytelling, is necessary towards its implementation as a knowledge sharing vehicle. Further, deciding what stories are valuable to your enterprise, what skills are needed, and how those stories can serve a knowledge management purpose, compose the “development” section.
In terms of “transfer,” enterprises are encouraged to focus on the performance/delivery of stories, as it directly impacts the way a story exchanges knowledge. Consider the ways a story necessitates audience interaction or accommodates for audience temperaments. Additionally, you should consider how stories are captured so that they can be easily and widely accessible for your workforce.
The final section, “growth,” focuses on how storytelling can be continuously applied to improve daily work functions. In other words, consider how stories integrate into daily workflows, or how employees can make connections between stories and the tasks they need to accomplish. Evaluating or assessing the effectiveness of stories shared further ensures steady growth of embracing storytelling as a method of knowledge sharing.
KMWorld returned in-person to the J.W. Marriott in Washington D.C. on November 7-10, with pre-conference workshops held on November 7.
KMWorld 2022 is a part of a unique program of five co-located conferences, which also includes Enterprise Search & Discovery, Office 365 Symposium, Taxonomy Boot Camp, and Text Analytics Forum.