Passport to the 21st Century
John Seely Brown, Steve Denning, 
Katalina Groh, Larry Prusak: 
Some of the world's leading thinkers
explore the role of storytelling in the world

 I Introduction to storytelling I John Seely Brown on science I Steve Denning on change I Katalina Groh on video
Larry Prusak on organization I Discussion I | Contact us | Bibliography on storytelling

Storytelling: Organizational Perspective: Larry Prusak
A skill you can't learn: wit

 When I was at Ernst & Young, Tom Davenport and I had a guy working with us who wanted to go to school to learn how to be witty. So the University of Rhode Island gave a week class on wit, how to become wittier, because he did presentations. And this guy made Gore and Bush look like Henny Youngman. 
   So he took this class. It cost seven thousand dollars. We had to sign off on it, to learn how to become witty, as it helps if you do presentations and have a sense of humor, it really does. 
   So I saw the guy the following Monday. I used to get in to work very early, and I was really expecting something. I was charged up to laugh. I like hearing a good joke. But he was terrible. He couldnít learn it. He was a nice smart guy. He couldnít do it. It sounded awful. 

  Some things can be learned though. Itís sure worth the effort. As Roche pointed out in the talk that they gave, in their sales   which was a magnificent success, because they took time and space. They thought it through. They just give people stuff on laptops. They didnít give them a training manual. They didnít hire a consulting firm to write a report. They got these people together to talk to each other, and to learn from each other. It was facilitated, it was structured, count on it, and it was beautifully done. And it worked. You can measure the effectiveness of such things. 
Books and videos on storytelling 
*** In Good Company : How Social Capital Makes Organizations Work
by Don Cohen, Laurence Prusak (February 2001) Harvard Business School Press
*** The Social Life of Information, by John Seely Brown, Paul Duguid
(February 2000) Harvard Business School Press
*** The Springboard : How Storytelling Ignites Action in Knowledge-Era Organizations
by Stephen Denning (October 2000) Butterworth-Heinemann 
*** The Art of Possibility, a video with Ben and Ros Zander : Groh Publications (February 2001)
Copyright © 2001 Larry Prusak 
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