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Facilitating Knowledge Management Through Storytelling

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Facilitating Knowledge Management Through Storytelling

Jan 15, 2021   |  By
KMI Guest Blogger, Ekta Sachania

Quite often a good story is the best way to impart knowledge (Davenport and Prusak 1998).

Storytelling is the oldest technique of knowledge transfer and has been touted as the most effective medium to pass across a message to someone since we tend to memorize stories better than dry facts and can easily link them to our personal experiences. Medical technologies have also proved that storytelling is a natural way for brain to capture and retain information.

During the recent years “power of storytelling” has garnered a lot of attention from the perspective of Knowledge Management and harnessing the tacit knowledge of an organization. In a domain that has been primarily dominated by charts and facts, storytelling has a great potential as a knowledge transfer and learning tool. Capturing tacit knowledge is a pain point for most organizations so no wonder, storytelling is fast gaining recognition as a KM tool.

Let us see below how the role of storytelling in a KM framework.

Fostering collaboration – In an organization people often come together as teams, groups, communities. Using narrative techniques during these sessions help people collaborate and learn from each other’s experiences as they have a context missing in the traditional form of meetings.

Transfer of tacit knowledge and understanding - Stories allow tacit knowledge to be shared more easily as stories provide context and focus on issues relevant to the listener. Storytelling allows a seamless leap from information to knowledge.

Ideation leading to Innovation – Ideas pave the way for Innovation. Employees have hands on experience with processes, clients, products, and customers. When they collaborate to share their stories while collaborating formally or informally, they create a new paradigm by introducing new ideas with potential for improvement and innovation.

Organic way to learn - The wider purpose of any KM framework is to equip employees with knowledge for greater good of the organization, and the medium of learning is vital. Various studies have proved that story telling is most effective in imparting and capturing of knowledge. Tacit knowledge from experienced members and outgoing employees can be embedded in narratives to help inexperienced employees learn and upskill.

If the question is why stories work so well in knowledge management, then the answer–simply–is that “our brains seem to be wired to easily and almost automatically organize information into stories” (Reamy, 2002).


Ekta Sachania is an experienced Knowledge and Content Manager based
in India.  

View Ekta's LinkedIn Profile here...
Or email Ekta here...


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