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Learning Through Storytelling, Not Documents
Knowledge Management Meets AI

By Roger C. Schank / October 2010

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  • Tue, 23 Nov 2010
    Post by Taruna Goel

    Having been a corporate trainer for 11 years, I can comfortably say that stories and anecdotes work far better than asking the participants to read a concept or a case study! From my personal experience, I remember all the stories that my father has shared with me over the years. Even now, he prefers sharing stories to help me solve the problem at hand or to share his opinion about an issue. I try to do the same with my daughter.

    Stories are immersive in nature and allow us to become a part of the narrative. Because they are interesting and real, we tend to remember them far more than reading a book. Stories have been used for ages and were the only tool/technique for knowledge management back then. Stories continue to exist in rural India where the information technology tsunami hasn't hit yet. People gather around the central village tree and the elders of the village talk about their experiences and share knowledge with the community at large. But in this digital world, stories are losing themselves. With less face-to-face interactions and 'knowledge' being defined in terms of documents and pages, there is even less scope to share stories.

    I hope that projects such as those initiated by you bring back the stories to the corporate world. A story goes a long way...ask any child!

  • Thu, 18 Nov 2010
    Post by [email protected]

    I am agree with you ...really. By my own experience also I felt that, learning through storylining is more efficient and easy in comparison to documents...

  • Mon, 18 Oct 2010
    Post by Linda Lucas

    For a long time (in schools and the workplace) we have ignored visual communications. Presenting ideas visually can help capture ideas in a holistic way and make them instantly recognizable. I once held a meeting where I used a mind-map type drawing to present a proposal. The meeting was about 20 minutes long and everyone was instantly onside. With verbal communications (long reports and or long-winded speeches), people lose interest, get distracted, think only about the latest point you have made, rather than the bigger picture you might be building towards. These days I am also researching graphic novels and I am amazed at how these can enhance the "storytelling" genre. We are novices (in the education field) at understanding the power of depicting ideas visually.

  • Fri, 08 Oct 2010
    Post by Alexis Hevia

    As a System Engineering student I was taught to use the Rational Unified Process (RUP) for developing software projects. However, my experience is that the enormous amount of documents soon become hard to manage and counterproductive. I prefer the XP way, which uses simple user stories to keep track of requirements, so I can relate with this article.

  • Wed, 06 Oct 2010
    Post by Allen Evitts

    I was a storyteller long before a project manager; your work puts voice to what I'd believed and supported in my professional career for years. I'm building a company focused on communication and teaching professional project managers to recognize, develop and exercise their communication skills; stories are a huge part of that effort. I hear the muse in your words and look forward to stories of the past and the future. Bravo, Sir. Bravo.