What’s Your Story?

Tell me one riveting story about your knowledge management system or its content.

Just one.

<I’m waiting…>


Too bad.  You and your KM system have flunked an essential test.

We’ve been raised from childhood to hear and tell stories.  We listen and we remember, sifting through the words until we find some meaning.  That’s been our process since childhood, and we don’t leave it behind when we go to the office.  It’s how we communicate, how we learn, and how we connect.   So then, why is it that we too often forget to seek out and tell compelling stories about our own work?

Finding the stories is just a matter of paying attention.  They surface in the moment — provided that you are looking for them.  If you’ve been oblivious until now, I’d encourage you to take a look at the video below from Radiolab called “Moments.”  As you will see, each brief moment captured in the video provides an eloquent hint of the story behind the picture.  It doesn’t take much effort to imagine what has just happened or is about to happen.

Now, look at your work and your life as if you are wielding the camera for Radiolab.  What moments are worth capturing?  What stories do they tell that help others learn about you and your work? What stories draw others to your work?

Look for the moments that embody a story, any story — whether about universal experiences or the singular experiences that set you and your work apart from others.  Capture and share those stories.  That’s how you explain what you do.  It may also be the best way to justify what you do.

A compelling narrative in the hands of a masterful storyteller is a powerful tool that creates wonderful opportunities.  Don’t waste it.

[h/t to Mary Jaksch at GoodLife Zen for pointing out this video.]

[Photo Credit:  Jill Clardy]


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