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The Science Of Storytelling – Forbes   Leave a comment

“Why storytelling?”

“Simple: nothing else works.”

That was the rudimentary answer that I gave to cynical left-brained managers back in the 1990s and early 2000s when I was introducing them to the power of leadership storytelling. Slides leave listeners dazed. Prose remains unread. Reasons don’t change behavior. When it comes to inspiring people to embrace some strange new change in behavior, storytelling isn’t just better than the other tools. It’s the only thing that works.

A more scientific answer can be found in Brian Boyd’s wonderful book, On the Origin of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction, (Harvard University Press, 2009)

This elegantly written book assembles a mass of scientific evidence, drawing on evolutionary theory, ethology, linguistics, artificial intelligence, game theory, anthropology, economics, neurophysiology, analytic and experimental philosophy, epistemology and psychology, and shows–scientifically–why storytelling is so important.

The eclipse of storytelling in the 20th Century

Anthropologists always knew that storytelling is a universal feature of every country and every culture, even if, for most of the 20th Century, storytelling got very little respect. As so-called scientific approaches to life became dominant, mechanistic, machine-like thinking was everywhere triumphant. Analysis was king. Narrative was seen as either infantile or trivial.

The phenomenon didn’t just affect storytelling. In retrospect, the 20th Century can be seen as a giant experiment by the human race to find out what could be accomplished if organizations treated people as things and communicated to them in abstractions, numbers and analysis, rather than through people-friendly communications such as stories.

Employees became “human resources” to be mined, rather than people to be minded. Customers became “demand”, or “consumers” or “eyeballs”, to be manipulated, rather than living, feeling human beings to be delighted. Storytelling was only one of many elements that suffered “collateral damage.”

The whole experiment can be seen as a success to the extent that the material standard of living of a proportion of the world’s population for a time improved. But the experiment was an abysmal failure in most other respects. It made human beings people miserable. And organizations steadily became less and less productive, as the need for innovation grew.

In any event, the effort to suppress storytelling was unsuccessful: storytelling, though despised, lived on in the cracks and crevices of society—in the cafeterias, the corridors, around water-coolers, in bars and restaurants, living rooms and bedrooms. Throughout the 20th Century, storytelling got little respect, but it could not be suppressed. It turned out to be central characteristic of being human.

It also turned out that storytelling was a central component of leadership. Want to understand why Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton or Barack Obama became national leaders? A big part of it lay in their ability to tell effective leadership stories.

Now, the ongoing reinvention of management to transform workplaces from the boring, sterile, dispiriting  cubicles of the 20th Century into the lively centers of inspiration and creativity that are needed for the Creative Economy of the 21st Century has storytelling at its core.

Why stories are so powerful

Boyd explains what is it about the apparently frivolous activity of storytelling that makes it so powerful. He helps us see why storytelling is central to innovation, the critical performance dimension of 21st Century organizations: stories are a kind of cognitive play, a stimulus and training for a lively mind.”

via The Science Of Storytelling – Forbes.

Posted March 10, 2012 by arnoneumann in Uncategorized

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A trend in education and disruptive technology to enable students to obtain study materials at a reasonable cost.

Posted February 18, 2012 by arnoneumann in Uncategorized

BBC News – Bollywood sets sights on wider market   Leave a comment

The significance and reach of Bollywood…




“India is the world’s largest producer of films. In 2009, it produced a total of 1,288 feature films. By contrast Hollywood produces an average of 500 per year.

Hindi cinema is just a portion of India’s annual film production, making up about 235 films in 2009. However, it remains the single most popular and influential, in India and beyond.

Named after its birthplace, Bombay, since renamed Mumbai, Bollywood dates its first feature film to 1910. It wasn’t until the 1950s, however, when Indian films were exported to the West.

One of India’s earliest actor-film makers, Raj Kapoor, achieved huge popularity in the former Soviet Union with his 1952 film Awara (Vagabond). Emphasising the working class hero’s dignity and optimism in the face of hardship, Kapoor’s films struck a chord with first Russian, and then Eastern European audiences.

Rapid expansion

Overseas box office returns are increasingly important for Indian film makers. In 2009, UTV Motion Pictures released period-epic Jodhaa-Akbar in 26 countries, the largest Bollywood worldwide release of its time.

In the same year, an estimated 3.6 billion tickets were sold worldwide for Bollywood films, compared with 2.6 billion tickets for Hollywood movies.

Just one year later, My Name is Khan, featuring one of Bollywood’s biggest stars, Shah Rukh Khan, expanded further, releasing in 45 countries, followed by a second-phase release in another 25 ‘non-traditional’ countries. It is, to date, India’s most successful film in terms of overseas revenues.

Click to play

A behind the scene glimpse of choreographer Shiamak Davar and his team of dancers as they prepare for the Indian International Film Academy Awards”

via BBC News – Bollywood sets sights on wider market.

Posted June 25, 2011 by arnoneumann in Uncategorized

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Welcome to the City of Apple! (via nonblock)   Leave a comment

Imagine a creative, high tech company in your City of the stature and reach as Apple Computer. Let Steve Jobs himself take you through on this video the concpet to amalgamate and house the disparate employees of approximately 12, 000 in number , all in one circular building.

Welcome to the City of Apple!“Found this news this morning and I was blown away 🙂 Not only because I was super excited with anything Apple (the good and the bad) but also because it was a showcase of how a major development process would be unveiled. We understand that someone needs a permit from city council before building an infrastructure. To what extent the procedure is implemented in Indonesia, my gut feeling says not much. Honestly, do we ever receive an invitation fr … Read More

via nonblock

Posted June 8, 2011 by arnoneumann in Apple, Uncategorized, urban

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IBLF delivers keynote speech on social innovation at Toronto summit   Leave a comment

“Ros Tennyson, Senior Partnerships Advisor at IBLF recently delivered an exciting keynote address at Ontario’s first Summit on Social Innovation. Her presentation involved making the links between social innovation, collaboration as a mechanism for scaling up social change, and the necessity of good process management to make sure partnerships reach ambitious goals. To access the webinar and download the presentation click here.

The ‘Building Partnerships for Social Change’ summit in Toronto was presented by three ministries of the Government of Ontario that are dedicated to promoting open communication with Ontarians and finding new ways to bring about social change.

IBLF’s presentation was highly well-received, and a series of indepth questions led to an increasing clarity about partnership as a mechanism for social change and partnership brokers as social innovator. As a follow up, Ros conducted a webinar on the art and science of cross-sector partnering, hosted by Social Innovation generation and part of their Inspiring Action for Social Impact series.”

via IBLF delivers keynote speech on social innovation at Toronto summit.

Posted June 2, 2011 by arnoneumann in Uncategorized

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BROKEN PHOTOGRAPHY // 25th May 2011 (via RJ TimeouT)   Leave a comment

The bits and the pieces are more worth together than apart ….

BROKEN PHOTOGRAPHY // 25th May 2011 Canadian photographer Todd Mclellan is a master in the art of capturing relics of the past in a dissected way. Each component has been dismantled from an object and put side by side, like the broken watch views procede by technical softwares. McLellan collection include items like a typewriter, a push lawn mower or a rotary phone. All those devices glorified like butterflies or insects kept under a glass in a museum. Each piece is positioned in a … Read More

via RJ TimeouT

Posted May 25, 2011 by arnoneumann in Photography, Uncategorized

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China’s Utilities Cut Energy Production, Defying Beijing –   Leave a comment

“Balking at the high price of coal that fuels much of China’s electricity grid, the nation’s state-owned utility companies are defying government economic planners by deliberately reducing the amount of electricity they produce.

The power companies say they face financial ruin if the government continues to tightly limit the prices they can charge customers, even as strong demand is sending coal prices to record levels. The chairwoman of one giant utility, China Power International, recently warned that one-fifth of China’s 436 coal-fired power plants could face bankruptcy if the utilities cannot raise rates.”

via China’s Utilities Cut Energy Production, Defying Beijing –

A power struggle about power in China. Note the graphic on the source of electricity generating power in China…predominantly coal , followed by hydro,then small amount of wind and small but rising amounts of nuclear.

Posted May 25, 2011 by arnoneumann in China, Uncategorized

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Day 97: LESSONS FROM HISTORY (via The Apostate Scientist Blog)   Leave a comment

History…learn from it…and do your part to make it !

Did you ever see alink between “… constructing a hand axe and in constructing a sentence…” ?
Read on.

Day 97: LESSONS FROM HISTORY I have been listening on-line (trying to catch up, as ever) to the BBC’s ‘History of the World in a Hundred Objects’, in which Neil McGregor took a hundred objects from the British Museum, which he directs, and talked for fifteen minutes on what the object represents and what it tells us about what it was like to be around at the time the object was made. I keep coming back, over and over, in these various writings to how language is so irrevocab … Read More

via The Apostate Scientist Blog

Posted May 25, 2011 by arnoneumann in Uncategorized

Art (via LNH)   Leave a comment

Ahh…why do we complicate life so much ? 🙂

Not everything needs to be complicated.

Art Simple.Just read it. … Read More

via LNH

Posted May 23, 2011 by arnoneumann in Uncategorized – Issue Guide: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict   Leave a comment

An excellent summary  and additional list for backgrounder on this critical Middle East issue. – Issue Guide: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

Posted May 23, 2011 by arnoneumann in Israel, Uncategorized

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