Category Archives: Strategic Communication

September 3, 2017

Metaphors of Metamorphosis: Organizational Change isn’t Just about Forgetting the Old

(c) 2017 Amy Zalman

It is also about remembering. As both an avid vegetable gardener and someone professionally consumed with organizational transformation, I have reasons to be interested in caterpillars. In my garden, they are an object of complex judgement calls. Left to their own devices, they devastate parsley, dill, tomatoes, cabbage, but they also transform into striking moths …

August 31, 2017

Upcoming Webinar: Drive Organizational Change with a Powerful Narrative

If you are already know you’re interested in taking the Webinar, Using Strategic Narratives to Accelerate Organizational Change on September 12th from 1 – 2 PM EDT, you can accelerate right now and sign up at the Association for Strategic Planning HERE.  Don’t forget your 25% Discount for being a reader of this blog — use the code …

August 10, 2017

6 Ways Technology May Impact Workforce Diversity & Inclusion

When (former) Google employee James Damore was fired earlier this month after distributing a memo charging the company with intolerance towards ideological conservatives, it was made clear — if it wasn’t already–that that diversity and inclusion policies are based on collective narratives. Narratives are our justifying accounts for why we believe what we do, and they …

March 6, 2017

The Neuroscience Behind Strategic Narrative

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/92517414/

Several generations of increasingly advanced science now tell us that the insights of novelists and filmmakers have an empirical basis in our brain chemistry.  This should be a clarion call for every leader, because when our stories are dysfunctional, we are dysfunctional, both as individuals and as members of groups. The machine view of humans …

May 4, 2016

If You Want to Generate Strategies for Future Success, Start with Narratives and Metaphors

Terms like metaphor, myth, story  and narrative are not necessarily the first that come to mind when considering how to develop a future-facing national strategy.  But they should be.  This point was made in brilliant ways by the participants at the Atlantic Council’s second annual Global Strategy Forum in Washington DC earlier this week. Metaphors …

April 19, 2016

Creating an Innovative Workforce in a Large Bureaucracy: Lessons from the U.S. Air Force

Strategic Narratives for innovation

The idea that bureaucracy inhibits innovation is far from new: Political scientists in the early 1960s were already making the charge that, “There is a growing feeling that modern organizations and particularly the large, bureaucratic business and government organizations, need to increase their capacity to innovate” (Victor Thompson, Administrative Science Quarterly, June 1965). Fifty years …

April 30, 2013

Let’s Celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of “A National Strategic Narrative”

National Strategic Narrative

This has been a tough spring for national cohesion in the United States. Automatic federal spending cuts called sequestration kicked in after Congress failed to agree on how to manage the federal budget. The Senate voted down a bill that would expand background checks for gun purchasers, despite strong support around the country.  And bombings …

January 23, 2013

Resilience Narratives Key to Resilient Systems

The 2013 World Economic Forum Conference that began today in Davos is dedicated this year to resilient dynamism. As Arianna Huffington noted earlier in the day, the key concept that gives rise to the need for resilience is our global interconnectedness. Quoting Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin, she cites five attributes that resilient systems characteristically …

December 1, 2012

Intertextuality for Strategic Communication

The Power of Reference, Allusion and Quotation in Communication Two recent films, Skyfall and Anna Karenina, are made more intensely meaningful by their intentional intertextuality–their incorporation of previous iterations and interpretations of the story they are themselves telling.  Both offer insights into the ways communicators can benefit from the same kind of internal referentiality. The …