ABOUT US

GoldenFleece is a global community of practice devoted to storytelling in organizations and business.

We are an eclectic group of more than a 100 business leaders, playful raconteurs, corporate consultants, visionary artists, knowledge brokers, published authors, determined educators, social entrepreneurs, and group facilitators.

Purpose

We believe in the practical and transformative power of story at work.

We value storytelling and its impact on individuals, organizations, and society. We believe that storytelling can be used as an effective force to improve business practices and results.

“There have been civilizations that did not use the wheel, but there are no civilizations that did not use story.”
— Ursula Le Guin

We have come together to create a professional practice around the use of story at work. We provide a venue for learning from each other through our experiences and our techniques
We are interested in creating new knowledge about storytelling in business.

History

Founded in Washington, DC, our community emerged in response to several events in 2001, including the First Annual Smithsonian Conference on Organizational Storytelling – a seminal event in the field of org story.

A vast record of this event is available online. The transcripts from this weekend will also be published by Jossey Bass in the Fall of 2004.

Starting in Washington DC, affiliated groups of GoldenFleece have since emerged in Albany, Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, and San Diego. Would you like to be next? Email us about starting a group in your city.

Timeline

Organizational Storytelling has emerged as a recognized professional discipline.

For your benefit, we’ve created a timeline that captures the full evolution our community activities and contributions.

June 2004(SPECIAL DATE AND PLACE)
Tuesday, June 8th (2nd Tuesday of the Month) – Come celebrate the launch of Steve Denning’s new book Squirrel, Inc. – A Tale About Leadership Through Storytelling.

Special Place – This event takes place at Olsson’s bookstore on 2111 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia.

May 2004
On Tuesday, May 4th –
Michelle James will lead us in an dynamic evening of Story and Improv.

April 2004
The 4th Annual Smithsonian Conference is here again with three days of programming on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
This Storyatwork.com web site launches, produced by Michael Margolis with more than 1000 unique visitors in the first week alone.

March 2004
Steve Denning and Kelly Cresap lead an evening on storytelling, laughter, and jokes, philosophy on why we laugh, material on laughing muses. We explored creating stories that get us laughing about our own everyday conflicts and setbacks.

February 2004
Discussion of the movie "Big Fish" led by Kelly Cresap followed by an exploration of "Story and Movies led by Lisa Kimball and Cresap.

January 2004
Madelyn Blair, with support from Alicia Korten piloted a "UN Storytelling Process" to be used with UN Ambassadors later in the year.

December 2003
End of year storytelling celebration, includes Paul Costello leading our community through the"Living Story" Process that identify future stories to guide us forward.

November 2003
Michael Margolis returned to lead the group through "Stories of Uncomfortableness".

October 2003
Michael Margolis facilitates an evening on the "Marketing Story of GoldenFleece" including a conversation on values and goals.

September 2003
Madelyn Blair demonstrated an organizational change model and its relationship to story.

August 2003
Betsy Arnette presented her Phd thesis on "Story as the Approach for Facilitating a Knowledge Management Innovation".

July 2003
Paul Costello returns with the students of the groundbreakingWashington-Ireland Program for an evening devoted to Irish Storytelling.

June 2003
Seth Kahan and Madelyn Blair presented a process on community-building — including telling the story of the person sitting next to us, going around the circle.

May 2003
We retold the many formal and informal stories that emerged out of the 3rd Smithsonian Conference and discussed the future directions of our community. Rob Creekmore facilitates the beginning of our strategic planning process.

April 2003
Greg Kramer and Rob Creekmore led an session on “Storytelling and Mindfulness.”
The 3rd annual Smithsonian Weekend on Organizational Storytelling takes place in DC.

March 2003
Noa Baum led a workshop which was a “trial run” of a workshop that she is planning to give to lawyers on the subject of listening.

February 2003
Seth Kahan led a session on “Storytelling and Our Work in the World”

January 2003
Seth Kahan led a New Year’s Ritual during the session.

December 2002
Alicia Korten, Lynne Feingold, and Sharon Cox led a performance of Alicia’s poem “The Voyage of the Golden Fleece” at Van Ness.
Paul Costello and the Center for Narrative Studies convened the first of a monthly series of workshops entitled: “Becoming Storywise: An Introduction to Narrative Practice”.

November 2002
Steve Denning and Seth Kahan led an discussion on the sprouting of new groups in Atlanta, Albany, San Diego, and Boston, as well as the possibility of an entire weekend of events around a third annual organizational storytelling event at the Smithsonian.

October 2002
Rob Creekmore, Steve Denning, and Seth Kahan make organizational storytelling presentations at the National Storytelling Festival. The following day they convene an open exploratory session among people interested in organizational storytelling. Around this time Denning, Kahan, Madelyn Blair, and others begin sharing the Golden Fleece story at various conferences and events around the world.

September 2002
First StoryCon conference convenes in Palm Springs, CA.

August 2002
Joan Girardi leads session on “Exploring the Use of Story in Knowledge Sharing” using simulations.
Later in the month, Seth Kahan previews his NASA workshop on Work Life Balance.

July 2002
Paul Costello leads session on “The Irish Story” with his young Irish interns from the Young Leaders program that Paul leads.

June 2002
Dave Snowden leads session on his work with narrative in organizations using complexity theory.

May 2002
Steve Denning leads session on “Seven Highest Value Forms of Organizational Storytelling.”

April 2002
Alicia Korten leads session on “Creating a Culture of Conscious Storytelling in Organizations.”
Steve Denning and Seth Kahan lead another Smithsonian workshop on organizational storytelling. Many of the major organizational storytelling leaders present at the “Action Enabled Learning: The Power of Narrative” conference in New York.

March 2002
Denise Lee leads session on the “Knowledge Sharing Initiative Using Storytelling at NASA.”

February 2002
Seth Kahan leads session on “Activating Human Potential in Communities of Practice.”

January 2002
Michael Salla leads session on “The Hero’s Journey Applied to the History of American Foreign Policy.”

December 2001
Seth Kahan and Rob Creekmore lead session on “Tapping the Archetypal Power of Stories in Organizations” at Van Ness (all further sessions are convened there).

November 2001
Madelyn Blair leads session on “Storytelling and Appreciative Inquiry” at the World Bank. Three “Future Stories” are created by the group, including one entitled “The Good Ship Golden Fleece,” from which the name “Golden Fleece” emerges for the OSG. Seth Kahan creates the GoldnFleece List-Serv.

October 2001
Dave Rippey leads session on “Leadership Stories” at Alicia Korten’s home. Annette Simmons and Jimmy Neal Smith convene a meeting of major organizational storytelling practitioners during the National Storytelling Festival. Rick Stone, Steve Denning, and others make presentations on organizational storytelling at the Festival.

August 2001
Paul Costello concludes the Living Stories Process with the group, supported by Rob Creekmore. First meeting at our regular venue at Van Ness Condominiums, hosted by Lynne Feingold. Draft “Description” for the OSG prepared by Madelyn Blair and Rob Creekmore.

July 2001
First official meeting of the DC Organizational Storytelling Group (OSG – later known as “Golden Fleece”) at George Mason University. Paul Costello leads the Living Stories Process, supported by Seth Kahan and Rob Creekmore. Four “Stories of Our Beginnings” by Madelyn Blair, Sharon Cox, Patti Digh, and Lisa Kimball, are selected to represent the community’s beginning.

May 2001
Initial luncheon at the World Bank to explore forming an organizational storytelling group in Washington, DC

April 2001
Steve Denning convenes the first Smithsonian workshop on organizational storytelling

March 2001
Lisa Kimball and Rob Creekmore convene the Virtual Storytelling in Business Symposium, sponsored by the International Storytelling Center

Fall 2000
Seth Kahan creates the StorytellinginBusiness List-Serv

Pre-2000
Various informal meetings on uses of storytelling in organizations at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough TN.
Early pioneering work of Rick Stone, Steve Denning, Dave Snowden, and others. Denning and Snowden begin convening “Master Classes.”

Our stories

The main stories that have illuminated the life of the Golden Fleece group can be found here.

 

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