Circle of the 9 Muses

Book description

The action-based guide to powerful, influential organizational storytelling

Circle of the 9 Muses captures the best practices of the world's most influential story consultants and knowledge workers to help you find, tell, and draw value from your organizational stories as impetus for action. This rich toolbox is loaded with fun, graphical instructions and dozens of unique, replicable, and facilitated processes that require no special training or expertise. You'll discover your organization's hidden narrative assets, use different templates and frameworks to tell the stories of your past, present, and future and then draw team members into rich meaning-making dialogue that translates into action. These activities can be exercised in endless permutations, and expert advice steers you toward the right activity for a specific purpose, including managing change, setting strategy, onboarding, defining the brand, engaging supporters or customers, merging cultures, building trust, and much more.

Organizational storytelling is a powerful managerial tool and an essential change management technique. This is about your influence as a leader. Knowing the right story to tell and how to deliver it effectively gives you and your organization enormous influence, and helps connect employees to strategy by providing understanding, belief, and motivation in their personal contribution. This book is the ultimate field guide to becoming an influential storyteller, with concrete, actionable guidance toward all the storytelling fundamentals.

  • Identify your organization's "narrative assets"
  • Craft an elegant, well-constructed organizational story
  • Capture, bank, and share stories with extraordinary engagement
  • Facilitate a dialogue to draw out meaning and induce change

The growing interest surrounding organizational storytelling has many change agents focused on "trying to tell better stories," but goals are useless without a plan of action. Circle of the 9 Muses helps you weave narrative wisdom into organizational development activities, engaging employees and driving change.

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Other Books by David Hutchens
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Dedication
  6. Introduction: Dispatches from a World of Stories
    1. Scene I: A Small Club in Nashville, Tennessee
    2. Scene II: A Cave in the South of France, 1994
    3. Scene III: A Conference Room Somewhere in Paris
    4. It All Began with a Sheep
  7. What's Inside
  8. Stepping into the Stream
  9. 9 Muse Story Recipes
    1. Branding Recipes
    2. Team Building/Relationship Building Recipes
    3. Leadership, Strategy, and Change Management Recipes
    4. Organizational Development Recipes
  10. Part I: Fundamentals
    1. Chapter 1: The Four Core Stories
      1. Identity Stories
      2. Vision Stories
      3. Values Stories
      4. Stories of Change and Learning
      5. What Are Your Core Stories?
      6. Three More Cores!
      7. Where Do I Go Next?
    2. Chapter 2: Host a Story Circle
      1. Decide How You Will Frame It
      2. Find or Create a Third Space
      3. Decide Who Needs to Be There
      4. Set Ground Rules
      5. Put Participants in Groups
      6. Begin the Session and Manage the Time
      7. Your Role as Host
      8. Ready to Get Started?
      9. Where Do I Go from Here?
    3. Chapter 3: Story Prompts
      1. First, Some Don'ts
      2. Plant the Suggestion
      3. “Tell Me about a Time …”
      4. Story Buckets
      5. Extreme Prompts
      6. Emotional Prompts
      7. Aspirational Prompts
      8. Go Wide Open
      9. Go for the Heart
      10. Stories Beget Stories
      11. Where Do I Go from Here?
    4. Chapter 4: Capturing Fire
      1. Your turn: First, Pick a Story to Work On
      2. Clarify Your Intent
      3. Your turn: What Is Your Intent?
      4. Connect Your Story to Universal Plots
      5. Your turn: Choose a Plot Archetype
      6. Other Story Structures: FWA
      7. Declare Your Intent
      8. Other Tips and Techniques for Better Stories
      9. Technique 1: Throw 'Em Right into the Action
      10. Technique 2: Add Emotion (“The King and the Queen”)
      11. Technique 3: Add Sensory and Motion Information
      12. Technique 4: The “MacGuffin,” or Gleaming Detail
      13. Technique 5: Play with the Timeline
      14. Technique 6: Make It Shorter!
      15. Your turn: Provide Some Final Polish to Your Story
      16. Bringing It All Together: Geoff's Story
      17. Where Do I Go from Here?
  11. Part II: Branching Out
    1. Chapter 5: Twice-Told Stories
      1. Explain the Process to Your Story Circles
      2. Begin the Story Circles
      3. Close the Story Circle Experience and Select One Story to Retell
      4. Create the Story Theater and Begin!
      5. The Critical Epilogue: Name the Bigger Story
      6. Modifying the Exercise for Different-Sized Groups
      7. Capture It Visually!
      8. Another Delivery Option
      9. Where Do I Go from Here?
    2. Chapter 6: Summoning the Muse (Story Listening and Sense Making)
      1. Meaninglistening and Storymaking with Your Team's Stories
      2. Roll the Dice!
      3. Listen Better
      4. Taking It Deeper: A Geography of Meaning
      5. Option: Use the Archetype Cards
      6. The Power of the Spontaneous Invitation
      7. Meaning Making and Individual Conversations
      8. “For Lack of a System”: A Story from Lori Silverman
      9. Where Do I Go from Here?
    3. Chapter 7: Story Circle Variations (Riffs, Jams, Jazz Licks, and Sitar Solos)
      1. Visual Story Mining
      2. Stories in Words
      3. The Client Sets the Frame
      4. Invite the Witness
      5. Story Distilling
      6. Audience Carousel
      7. Getting Personal: Stories and Significant Experiences
      8. Show and Tell (“Relics”)
      9. Capture Family Legacies
    4. Chapter 8: Leadership Story Archetypes
      1. The 16 Archetypes of the 9 Muses
      2. Putting the Archetypes to Work
      3. Identify the Frame for Conversation
      4. Present the Archetypes
      5. Place Participants in Groups
      6. Have Participants Each Identify Three Archetypes and Write Them on Sticky Notes or Index Cards
      7. Present Your Cards
      8. Analyze and Discuss What Just Happened
      9. Taking It into the Future: The Transformational Question
      10. Using Archetypes as a Directed Listening Framework
      11. How to Apply Archetypes to Your Stories
      12. Where Do I Go Next?
    5. Chapter 9: Future Story Spine
      1. Where Did the Story Spine Come From?
      2. Get Ready for This Exercise
      3. Introduce the Story Spine
      4. Start with the Climactic Event: “Until Finally . . .”
      5. Identify a Single Event That the Group Will Focus On
      6. Complete the Story Spine!
      7. Where Do I Go from Here?
    6. Chapter 10: Visual Timeline
      1. Identify the Story You Want to Tell
      2. Establish the Start and End Dates
      3. Draw a Line that Tells the Story!
      4. Reflect for a Moment
      5. Fill in the Story Details
      6. Draw out the Meaning
      7. Applications
      8. Other Options and Ideas
      9. Where Do I Go from Here?
    7. Chapter 11: Fractal Narratives
      1. Let's Start with an Example: Values Stories
      2. Storytelling and Institutional Memory
      3. Other Fractal Story Frameworks
      4. Where Do I Go Next?
    8. Chapter 12: Fractal Narratives and the Hero’s Journey
      1. The Manager of a Thousand Faces
      2. An Introduction to The Hero’s Journey
      3. Introduce the Hero's Journey
      4. Connect Stories to the Stages of the Journey
      5. Option: Ordeal Storytelling and Prophesying Your Ending
      6. Where Do I Go from Here?
    9. Chapter 13: Story Element Extraction
      1. The Classic Version: Working with a Few Stories
      2. Going Deeper with Story Element Extraction
      3. Distribute the Stories
      4. Collect Ideas
      5. Cluster the Answers
      6. Name the Clusters
      7. Describe the Attributes of the Clusters
      8. Transfer, Group, and Name All the Positive and Challenging Attributes
      9. Assess and Reflect
    10. Chapter 14: Creative Tension Pictures
      1. What's Going On Here
      2. Options for Creative Tension Pictures
      3. The Fast Version: Visuals Speak
      4. Build it, via the Think with Your Hands Methodology
      5. Where Do I Go from Here?
    11. Chapter 15: Strategy Is A Story
      1. A Journey of Heroes
      2. Example: A Strategy Narrative “Message House”
      3. Share the Story
      4. Strategy Is a Storyboard
      5. Option: Cast the 9 Muse Archetypes in Your Storyboard!
      6. Where Do I Go Next?
    12. Chapter 16: Innovation Storyboarding (and Storyboarding Frameworks)
      1. Classic Innovation Storyboarding
      2. The Fast Version
      3. Other Storyboarding Frameworks
      4. An Example: My Creative Process Storyboard
      5. Building the Exercise
      6. Now Begin the Activity
      7. Where Do I Go Next?
      8. Storyboard Your Offering Using Presentation Software
    13. Chapter 17: Step into a Story: Story Field Trips
      1. Identify the Special World
      2. Issue the Call to Adventure
      3. Cross the Threshold
      4. Bring Back the Elixir
      5. The Stories Keep Working on You!
    14. Chapter 18: Digital Storytelling
      1. Comic Book Applications
      2. Movie-Making Applications
      3. Slide Applications
      4. Photo Book and Story book Applications
      5. Image Resources
  12. Appendix
    1. The “Icon Cheat Sheet for Left Brainers”
    2. The 10 Story Types, the Seven Basic Plots, and the 36 Dramatic Situations
    3. Booker's Seven Plots from The Seven Basic Plots
    4. Polti's 36 Dramatic Scenarios
    5. Bibliography
  13. Contributors, Partners, and Friends
  14. About the Author
    1. Connect with David
  15. Index
  16. End User License Agreement

Product information

  • Title: Circle of the 9 Muses
  • Author(s): David Hutchens
  • Release date: July 2015
  • Publisher(s): Wiley
  • ISBN: 9781118973967