Monday, July 20, 2009

Round-up StoryMatters Episode 7 - Words & Stories

If you haven’t had a chance read the blog entry before this one - it has three 99 word stories from our last StoryMatters Episode.

After Brian shared the stories posted in the last blog entry, I reflected the stories back to him. In the process I look for some key words to help me index (pinpoint) something central in the story that stands out for me. These index words are the gateway to finding my own personal stories that are associated with the 99 words stories. I use the 99 word stories as trigger for my own story reflection.

The three words from the stores that jumped out for me were:


I then proceeded to tell some stories of my own...I shared a story of a year in Budapest living in Communist built apartment complex, without a working phone, the beginning of Desert Storm with CNN images of smart bombing, my father in the hospital for heart surgery and no way for me to get back home, reading a book in my apartment - Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeline L'Engle (Mad Dog Bonzgo and WWIII) when the lights in the entire city of apartment buildings go out - I felt so vulnerable I crawled to my bed and did not move for 12 hours...

I told another story about a 30 year old hotel worker and the depth of experience and knowledge about a place that was otherwise falling apart. It had been a grand hotel - this guy had not only knowledge, but deep comprehension ... he had ideas of how and what the hotel could do to make things better but given his lowly position no one was talking to him

The last story I shared was about watching how more often than not people's initial grievances and complaints with large scale software implementations face away and settle with a little time and patience. More problems are created by over reacting to problems too quickly or soon.

Brian then shared a stored about having to facilitate a workshop in a loud school gymnasium. When he reframed his annoyance into a challenge of imagination by pretending it was the launch deck of the Star Trek Enterpise his whole attitude changed and his it no longer became an onerous task to ignore the initial noise and distractions

After our stories we opened up the discussion tot he group. We asked them to reflect on the relationship between the words


Here's what people had to said. Of course other stories were shared too...

Imagination enables us to choose the frame we use to interpret or
comprehend a situation

With imagination, the "frame" of our comprehension becomes more flexible
than we might have thought.

You can't make a problem go a way by imagining it differently but you
can change its severity or intensity

Comprehension is driven by the frame we draw around something and that
frame can be flexible with imagination

We can never erase our frame entirely; can never fully see something
from another's perspective

Being circumspect about our attitude allows us to flex our frame

Using our imagination to practice flexing our frame of reference teaches
us a level of tolerance for the sometimes unusual frames that other
people are using

Imagination and comprehension are necessary for good problem solving

I think it takes first comprehension and then imagination to take a look at what is perceived as a problem and reframe it as not a problem, or perhaps discover solution

Problems are best solved with complete comprehension plus imagination thrown

Okay so what words stand out for you from the three stories?
What do you see as the relationship between these words?
And, most importantly...what stories can share that are triggers/associated with these words?

Thanks in advance for sharing!

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Thank You!
Adding your stories and thoughts to this conversation is enriching for everyone.