**NEW DATES & VENUE** Narrative Methods for Navigating Complexity: Mastercl...

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CIOs in industries as broad ranging as retail, pharmaceuticals, banking and home appliances have begun educating their executives on business narrative and story as a way to get back in touch with their customers, employees and to stimulate innovation. As a part of their unique approach to on-going innovation, Lowe's, the large home improvement retailer in the US, employs sci-fi writers to craft stories of what living in future homes will be like; whilst AstraZeneca has trained data analysts in narrative techniques so they can create more compelling stories which better communicate information that comes from data.

There is a growing wave of interest in Narrative, and the role of Narrative in everything from strategy development, product design, citizen engagement and policy making, to cultural and attitudinal mapping. This class draws on thinking from global thought leader, Dave Snowden, who has pioneered new approaches in the use of Narratives in management and business by combining the human and natural sciences which underlie this evolutionary impulse.

This class will help you to make sense of this move toward Narrative, and utilise it more effectively as a tool in your work. Discover new and interesting narrative-based techniques, whilst learning about the deep-seated human and biological science which help to answer the questions: "Why Narrative? And how?"

Why Narrative?

This renewed interest draws from a tradition rooted in basic human instinct - we are homo narrans, the story-telling ape. The oral narrative has long been the chief basis of culture itself, that the need to tell stories is what distinguishes humans from all other living creatures. Narrative is the way we simplify and make sense of a complex world. It supplies context, insight, interpretation - providing the basic human strategy for sense-making.

The story-telling impulse created the first instance of knowledge management, information transfer and history making; allowing us to make sense of things beyond immediate experience. It serves a deep social function - understanding of, and sharing in, a common body of narratives therefore also serves the function of creating shared culture and identity.

Communicating in narrative and story is inherently more natural and effective. Arriving at the cusp of the deep revelation that we are not rational information-processors, but complex carbon-based life forms who feel, and form memory and bias, and whose "rationality" is shaped by perspective. This 2-day session will focus on techniques to harness the power of narrative to better understand the experiences of your customers, employees, citizenry or stakeholders. This will enable you to design more intuitive strategies, intimate to people's lived experiences.

Who is this class for?

The techniques and approaches that are covered in this class have been used by banks to renew trust with their customer base after the financial crisis, by retailers to develop better marketing strategies, and customer groups to develop more innovative and intuitive products. Governments have applied narrative methods with their populace to develop policies for better citizen engagement, and organisations have used it to navigate tricky cultural mergers in M&A.

The applications are broad-ranging, and will be suitable for:

  • Managers and executives looking to incorporate narrative strategies into day-to-day operations
  • Organisational coaches and consultants seeking new narrative-based tools and techniques
  • HR/OR practitioners seeking better employee engagement and feedback for HR policies
  • Innovation teams looking to incorporate new research techniques
  • Information officers who want to understand how to use narrative for data

What will we cover?

This 2-day Masterclass discusses Narrative Theory through the lens of complexity, sense-making, cognitive science and anthropology - focusing on guiding the understanding of narrative techniques through a series of workshop activities which are designed for maximum engagement and learning-by-doing.

This session will be facilitated and led by Dave Snowden, and will only be offered twice in selected locations this year. Following two inaugural Masterclasses the content will move into a standardised delivery at a Foundations-level and become more widely available. During the session, you can expect to cover:

  • Narrative Theory - through the lens of cognitive science & anthropology, and how it is applied for sense-making
  • Narrative as a technique for Complex Systems - how to use “narrative” as data, and decision-making
  • Making use of Narrative as a tool for strategy development - how naturally told stories can be utilised to understand the culture and identity of your organisation/group
  • Understanding narrative arcs to develop better teaching stories - how to combine narratives to develop an effective body of teaching stories

We will also be going through the following techniques in-session:

  • Prompting Question design - how to ask questions to gather more natural answers
  • Anecdote Circles - how to use anecdote circles to mine narratives for data
  • 2-stage emergence - affinity clustering in 2 stages to uncover balanced attributes of a system
  • Archetype Extraction - work with a local cartoonist to develop cartoon archetypes of people or individuals within a system

These techniques will be covered in-depth for practical takeaways that can be applied for use in your own organisations or projects. We will also be bringing in examples from a broad range of projects to describe how these have been, and can be utilised. Some examples include:

  • Narrative for policy development and citizen engagement
  • Narrative and archetypes for development of marketing strategies in banks and retail
  • Developing archetypes to better negotiate culture and transformation in mergers and acquisitions
  • Using narratives to uncover dispositions in decision-making behaviour

Cognitive Edge reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule the offered session. In the event of cancelation or rescheduling, a full refund of course fees will be processed within 10 business days of cancellation or rescheduling notice. Cancellations by registrants are only permitted with a minimum of 3 weeks notice ahead of course delivery date with refunds provided less a 10% processing fee. Substitutions are permitted at any time as well as rescheduling attendance to an alternate session within a 12 month period.

Explanation of the ticket choices:

  1. If you are part of a group of FOUR (4) or more people, then please email for a group discount.
  2. Premium Members get 15% discount on all training. Sign up for the Network here: Cognitive Edge network registration for a Basic membership. When you’ve done that you’ll be directed to the Network Dashboard page, click on the upgrade option to pay to become a Premium member and use the 15% discount code.
  3. Group discounts cannot be used cumulatively with Network Membership discounts.
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