Harold Jarche – Narrating work

One of the practices that I think that I start with clients on, is the whole notion of narrating your work. That I think is absolutely critical, is that… because I get people, like if you’re a blogger, you know, we’re already there, we don’t have to explain any of that to you. But most people aren’t bloggers, and most people aren’t going to be bloggers.

But there’re other ways of narrating your work, and people we work with… We work with clients like the first week or two, they’ll go, “Yeah this is really cool” and everything like that, they do it and then it just falls off the cliff and nothing happens. And you have to keep working with them until a certain point in time, where somebody goes, “I didn’t know you did that.” Well because they were narrating their work and I start, and they start seeing the connections. You have the whole notion of network weaving, I know you and I know Frédéric, but you and Frédéric don’t know each other, and I close the triangle. And when people see this in action amongst themselves, that, is it because I’m narrating my work I, now, I open myself up. I become a better contributor to the network. I’m thinking like, so its not just people start doing it themselves, but then they start thinking about “what’s the kind of information I want to see? Well, that’s the kind of information I’m going to put out there because somebody might want it. So I’m going to write up my notes from attending a session. I’m going to write it up in a way that I would like to see them if somebody else was attending a session”.

The whole notion of narrating their work and then, transparency, so this all happening within it, the notion of making things shareable, right so, and that those are the enabling behaviors, all within this bigger rubric of understanding that I’m a member of a network and how networks work, and then how I should behave, that by the more I give to the network the more I get from the network.

And those and so, easy to say, every company is different, every context is different and it’s, and it takes… and it all takes time. You can’t change behavior overnight, I can’t come in and give some kind of a great… develop a strategic plan and say “off you go”. There is a, what they call walking the talk, that has to be done for a certain period of time until suddenly somebody gets that “aha!” You know, inside the company, and then they start becoming an evangelist, “I got it, I fixed this, this is really good, yeah, look, I got this, I got that” and then they go and off they run with it. And that can take weeks or it can take months, but there’s that period, there’s that barrier, that hurdle of getting people over the traditional ways of working, it’s like learning a second language. You can read all the books you want but you actually have to practice speaking.

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