Practical storytelling techniques for knowledge managers

Storytelling is potentially a simple yet effective knowledge management practice within organisations. However, the knowledge manager is often confronted by how difficult storytelling can be, especially as its artistic aspects tend to be emphasised by consultants in the professional storytelling business.

During the second day of the 2012 KM Singapore conference Karuna Ramanathan, Head of Centre for Leadership Development for the Singapore Armed Forces, offered great insights on what storytelling can strengthen KM practices in organisations, and what are the techniques that can be used for effective storytelling.

According to Karuna, stories and storytelling don’t have to be confused with the “artistic, oral tradition”. Organizational storytelling is about practices, processes and systems. Amongst the different uses of storytelling for organizations, Karuna has identified nine potential uses, such as heritage, memory, measurement, strategic communication and showcasing.
Finally, Karuna concludes by sharing one of the techniques he uses for storytelling. This is based on the 5 fingers of your hand: you start the story by telling your fear in the past; the you move to your concerns; the middle finger is about your frustrations; the pointing finger is about the lessons learned; lastly, the thumb up is for ending your story always on a positive note.

Tags: kmsg, kmsingapore2012, knowledge management, storytelling