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Fenia Petran


This is a great, wonderful article.

The narrative of my company is "Learn by real-world applications".

Even the name of the company - Treda - Training and Education by Application - is derived from it.

As you so clearly and smartly explain, the narrative has two key attributes.

a) It is open-ended, there is no resolution yet.

b) It is about the intended audience. And the resolution of the narrative depends on the audience, on the choices and actions taken by them.

This is a powerful narrative, I think, and has the potential to grow stronger, in the coming time.

It can pull and encourage people to take initiative, can allow a wave of experimentation and exploration, can definitely lead to accelerated learning, can help develop the passion of explorers and can provide important insights and constructive feedback from very different and unexpected crowd.

This narrative has the power to help develop powerful relationships between people that believe in it and to develop trust as we learn how to work together, to share things and to collaborate.

We can make it for a great narrative, and I very much need you to do it together.

Kate Hammer

How great that you're now writing about this topic. Your voice will influence people to adopt a more thoughtful approach to commercial stories than is offered by those focused on the next branded campaign.

I began working in this arena of commercial story-forming in 2007, after seeing how important for the success of a new B2B software category a well-tuned and open narrative was in practice. Since then, I've advised companies, many in technology and services sectors, and used their pains and the productive ways we found to address them to learn.

In time I began to formulate a framework akin to Osterwalder and Pigneur's Business Model Canvas. I launched the framework - called StoryFORMs - in 2012 at City University (London)'s Innovation, Creativity and Leadership day. In 2013 I was invited to University of Cambridge Judge Business School and Austrian Marketing University of Applied Sciences to present StoryFORMs. Based on the excitement it has generated, I need to progress on a book explaining the "why" and "how". The time feels right. And I was boosted by a nomination into the 2013 Innovation Excellence Top 40 Innovation Bloggers list announced early this year.

A minimal website (www.storyform.co.uk) meanwhile stands in for the book proper.

Knowing that you to are making headway on this path means a great deal to me, John. As would your guidance on or advocacy of my book - should the topic remain of interest to you.

Charles H. Green

Very thoughtful piece. I would underscore your point about this is not the kind of thing that can be handed over to the corporate communications department.

This is a holistic perspective; it seems to me a far superior way to execute on such all-too-often-abstract ideas like vision and values. The usual execution solution is to break down goals into finer and finer behavioral metrics, but then you lose all the flavor inherent in these more holistic aspects of corporate life.

This is very interesting work you are doing.

Ritesh agrawal

Excellent piece....thanks


One stylistic/functional note: while bit.ly can be helpful for publishers, using short links in the article obfuscates the URLs for the reader.

I moused over those four links in the first three paragraphs, for example, for some context about where you were linking to (a common reading behavior on the web), but wasn't immediately willing to click through because of the tax imposed by those shortened links.


Great write John! Reminds me of a story, which is perhaps a narrative in the described sense (I am not sure however - what do you think?)

In 2001 a visionary mind of a large automobile company had a dream, "Building a plant that would enable to engage employees from across all hierarchy levels, and disciplines in order to provide a top of the class product"

And they started with a small core team (he picked, by not only inviting well-respected members of the management, but as diverse as possible) and a competition for the central building. The architecture should enable the smooth flow of people, products, and information (as well as knowledge) as best as it can be.

The result is now an architectural pillar by Zaha Hadid, and production home of the first all-electric mass-market car.

How was that possible? Including people (as implementation of the plant got nearer) from very different work experiences, age and education, and letting the knowledge flow through self-organizing meetings outside the workplace was key.

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