Routledge – 2000 – 248 pages
The Springboard: How Storytelling Ignites Action in Knowledge-Era Organizations is the first book to teach storytelling as a powerful and formal discipline for organizational change and knowledge management. The book explains how organizations can use certain types of stories ("springboard" stories) to communicate new or envisioned strategies, structures, identities, goals, and values to employees, partners and even customers.
Readers will learn techniques by which they can help their organizations become more unified, responsive, and intelligent. Storytelling is a management technique championed by gurus including Peter Senge, Tom Peters and Larry Prusak. Now Stephen Denning, an innovator in the new discipline of organizational storytelling, teaches how to use stories to address challenges fundamental to success in today's information economy.
"One of the more interesting and creative management books of the past few years, The Springboard reflects Denning's strong belief in stories as encapsulated knowledge and his own stories about the World Bank are strongly illustrative of his own passion and knowledge. Read it, and learn from it, and enjoy it!"
—Larry Prusak, Executive Director, IBM Institute for Knowledge-Based Organizations
"For me, reading The Springboard was just that, an amazing spring board for better understanding how to bring strategic change to organizations, how to communicate in ways that impact skeptical audiences and in general, how to rethink knowledge management from a customer perspective. It is also the best thing I have ever read on corporate communication."
—John Seely Brown, Chief Scientist, Xerox Corp,
Co-author of The Social Life of Information
What is it that makes up such a springboard story? The author vividly and openly shares with us his experiences within the bank and outside as the new knowledge management processes are supported, developed and embedded. He includes other springboard stories and, most importantly for his readers, the nature of effective springboard stories is generalised. You will find yourself working up your own and trying them. Here is a powerful tool for managers of change.
One picture is worth more than a thousand words. A well-told springboard story jump-starts the actions that reports fail to inspire. Stephen Denning has given managers a new way to make things happen.
This is how all management books should be: creative, informative and entertaining. It is a compelling read for anyone involved with change or anyone who just likes a good story.
Sheila Bullas(director Health Strategies Ltd), for The British Journal of Healthcare Computing
Storytelling is a powerful and formal discipline for organisational change and knowledge management. Explains how organisations can use certain types of stories to communicate new or envisioned strategies,structures, identities, goals /7 values to employees, partners & customers. Personnel Today
Stephen Denning is to be roundly applauded for re-opening the book on storytelling as being at the centre of human communication, knowledge transfer and consequent decision-making. His Springboard story is a very specific story-form, honed to be effective in the context of 21st century organisational change.
Preface; Sighting the Springboard Story; Telling a Story that Rings True; Communicating a Vision; Getting Inside an Idea; A Tale of Two Stories; Co-Creating the Same Story; Another Mode of Knowing; Crafting the Springboard Story; Performing the Springboard Story; Building Up the Springboard Story; Embodying the Idea in a Story; The Medusa's Stare; Appendices; Bibliography