Carlos Leyva

Silicon Stories

Chapter 8: Knowledge Management & Infotainment

Telling Stories Revisited

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Researchers at IBM are in the process of developing a markup language for capturing the essence of stories. The name of the markup language is StoryML. They propose the following conceptual framework for describing a story:

According to this research stories are important because they are useful in creating, capturing, disseminating, and internalizing knowledge and that it accomplishes all of these simultaneously and not sequentially. This research supports the anecdotal evidence that I have presented in this text regarding the importance of human dialog within KM. Stories are extremely useful and powerful communications constructs within and across disciplines.

As instantiations of a type of knowledge that can be used in so many business processes, stories also have the advantage that they can help knowledge flow through the organization. Not only are stories capable of being used by many different business functions (marketing, design, management), they are also capable of being understood by various professions. Thus stories can serve not only to support communities of practice with a common vocabulary; they can also serve an important coordinating role within a team whose members come from different communities of practice.

In short, story telling is the communication construct of choice for collaborators working within and across disciplines on the increasingly complex task of bringing products and services to market. Not only does story telling contribute significantly to the creation of these offerings, but likewise in the articulation of their benefits to the marketplace.

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