IDEO Stories

Internal storytelling influences shared culture. IDEO encourages its innovative, human-centered approach through a practice called Stories

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Was just reading Tom Sayer's post called The Cultural Webb that points to the importance of storytelling in building and maintaining culture. That made me think about a practice we have here at IDEO called IDEO Stories. 

IDEO Stories is an internal storytelling event that we hold about 4 times a year. Each office has their own and they play out a little differently within each location. People either elect themselves or get chosen to share - and usually, the events cohere around a certain theme. There are also story coaches within each office who work with the storytellers to help craft their narrative. 

The stories are deeply personal. Having attended two of these events, I've always felt closer to my colleagues afterwards. It's an incredible way to bring people together - it develops the empathy we have for each other, encourages people to be vulnerable, and sets a standard for just being 100% yourself at work.  All of these things encourage innovation - a part of what it means to have have an innovative culture is feeling the safety to share an idea - as weird, or wacky as it may be.  

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The Cultural Web


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Photo of Paula Marra

Reading about the power of stories made me think about:
This is an project from Penguin ok, 6 authors, 6 stories, 6 weeks. When I first heard about it I decided that I wanted to develop a collaborative stories with my students, like the 21 steps. Using google maps. Same same but different. :-)

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