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5.0 von 5 Sternen Deserves a Place in Every Leader's Day, 3. November 2005
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Leader's Guide to Storytelling: Mastering the Art and Discipline of Business Narrative (J-B US Non-Franchise Leadership) (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Let me tell you a story.

I read and review books about leadership in hopes that people will find the books that will help them do the right thing.

Usually, I don't succeed in finding good resources as often as I succeed in finding resources that don't add anything to what Peter Drucker first said 50 or 60 years ago.

I recently heard Steve Denning tell a 15 minute story about how he used one brief anecdote to develop the support he needed to help transform the World Bank from a lagging lender to poor countries into a premier source of knowledge management. I was transfixed by that story and immediately ordered this book in which that story appears.

In The Leader's Guide to Storytelling, I learned that we often go into hypnotic trances when we hear such a story. I must admit that I did.

In fact, I didn't even understand why the story worked at the World Bank until I read the book. Here's what happened. Steve Denning had been given an opportunity to speak on behalf of knowledge management for 10 minutes in front of some of the World Bank's senior executives. What can you do in 10 minutes? You can tell an arresting story that stimulates the hearers to fill in their own solutions that advance your agenda. And that's what Steve Denning did. Two leaders turned that anecdote into their idea of what the World Bank should do in knowledge management. The rest is history.

While the story could have been built up into hours of interesting details, I found that the "minimal" version affected me much like Lincoln's Gettysburg address does. I felt the story throughout my body. I lived that moment with Steve Denning. And I understood both his point about story telling and about why brevity works better in business.

The strength of this book comes in Steve Denning's experience in changing major agendas in large organizations. Although the book's title says the book is about storytelling, The Leader's Guide to Storytelling is actually about a new style of collaborative management that goes beyond the familiar boundaries of theories X, Y and Z. The notion is to invite a collaboration to achieve more worthwhile directions as the main focus of an organization.

While other authors, such as Senge, Hamel and Christensen, argue for innovation to hide in the wings until it is ready to take center stage, Steve Denning persuasively argues that innovation can take the stage before it has fulfilled its potential . . . and accomplish more as a result.

Everyone who reads this book will admire the moral legitimacy of that position. It's the viewpoint of a winner, rather than someone who is afraid to take on the toughest challenges.

I intend to recommend that my university begin offering a course based on this book for all of its business and NGO graduate students.

While most books about storytelling are strong on the storytelling subject (such as Annette Simmons' The Story Factor), The Leader's Guide to Storytelling puts stories into an organizational context in ways that only an organizational master can do. Most leadership books are written by professors and consultants, and the work shows that they haven't done much leading. The Leader's Guide to Storytelling is leading as described by a leader who did it from a weak position . . . the most important perspective in any organization. Those who are close to the problems and opportunities always see both well. How do they engage the rest of the organization? Steve Denning has the answers in his detailed chapters on what stories to tell, how to tell those stories and his thoughts on what leaders should do.
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