Narrative Intelligence in Organisations

Stories are a fundamental part of our cultural and social lives, and this is no less so for organisations, as narratives are the primary means by which we negotiate identity, personal and professional, individual and collective. They are a vital currency, because stories make an “us” out of  “it”.

The Cultural Web Model:

The Cultural Web, which identifies cultural components of any given organisation (and thereby its implicit and explicit assumptions) specifically recognises stories as fundamental, indeed every bit as important as “Control Systems” and “Power Structures”, yet the role of narratives is too often over-looked and under-estimated.

Narratives impact on:

  • How we act;
  • How we think we should act;
  • How we predict the outcomes of our actions;
  • How we engage with and contest the past actions of self and others;
  • How we understand our position within the collective.

An understanding and appreciation of the diverse stories that underpin a team and organisation is essential to healthy leadership, because:

  • Stories are natural and essential to a healthy organisation.
  • Narration and reinvention is a constant process.
  • Storytelling is tenacious and persistent.
  • Stories are by nature ambiguous, open and participatory.

What is Narrative Intelligence?

  • The capacity to be aware of the fundamental role of stories in organisations;
  • The capacity to identify and appreciate a plurality of stories within an organisation;
  • The capacity to engage with these stories respectfully and positively;
  • A recognition of the importance of listening to a healthy culture.

Over the last decade Nick has developed and pioneered workshops for leaders and teams that aim to cultivate Narrative Intelligence, identifying persistent stories, developing new ones, helping people lead and be lead within a coherent, healthy group culture.

If you are interested in further information check out the twitter feed below, or please get in touch directly.



The application deadline for this fantastic programme is this Friday. Don't miss out.

More info of the @LF4HE website:

We all know a story has content of course, but don't underestimate its context. A story needs to be told. #narrativeintelligence

The Lab is a very special and very rare place to truly experience the power of inexpertitude. This is a very powerful way to address the tyranny of expertise and discover new approaches working, relating and developing. Not to be missed - there might not be another!

Another brilliantly obvious insight: If you want to get the smartphone generation to care about cars, wrap a car around a giant smartphone. That @Elonmusk really is a clever fellow.

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