is a global community of practice devoted to storytelling in organizations
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.
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.
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
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
vast record of this event is available online. The transcripts
from this weekend will also be published by Jossey Bass in the Fall
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.
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.
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
Place – This event takes place at Olsson’s bookstore on 2111 Wilson
Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia.
On Tuesday, May 4th – Michelle
James will lead us in an dynamic evening of Story and Improv.
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
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
Discussion of the movie "Big Fish" led by Kelly
Cresap followed by an exploration of "Story and Movies
led by Lisa Kimball
with support from Alicia Korten piloted a "UN Storytelling
Process" to be used with UN Ambassadors later in the year.
End of year storytelling celebration, includes
Costello leading our community through the"Living Story"
Process that identify future stories to guide us forward.
Margolis returned to lead the group through "Stories of
Margolis facilitates an evening on the "Marketing Story
of GoldenFleece" including a conversation on values and goals.
Blair demonstrated an organizational change model and its relationship
Arnette presented her Phd thesis on "Story as the Approach
for Facilitating a Knowledge Management Innovation".
Costello returns with the students of the groundbreakingWashington-Ireland
Program for an evening devoted to Irish Storytelling.
Kahan and Madelyn
Blair presented a process on community-building — including
telling the story of the person sitting next to us, going around
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
Kramer and Rob
Creekmore led an session on “Storytelling and Mindfulness.”
annual Smithsonian Weekend on Organizational Storytelling takes
place in DC.
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.
led a session on “Storytelling and Our Work in the World”
led a New Year’s Ritual during the session.
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”.
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.
Denning, and Seth
Kahan make organizational storytelling presentations at the
Storytelling Festival. The following day they convene an open
exploratory session among people interested in organizational storytelling.
this time Denning, Kahan, Madelyn
Blair, and others begin sharing the Golden Fleece story at various
conferences and events around the world.
conference convenes in Palm Springs, CA.
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.
leads session on “The Irish Story” with his young Irish
interns from the Young
Leaders program that Paul leads.
Snowden leads session on his work with narrative in organizations
using complexity theory.
leads session on “Seven Highest Value Forms of Organizational
Korten leads session on “Creating a Culture of Conscious
Storytelling in Organizations.” Steve
Denning and Seth
Kahan lead another Smithsonian workshop on organizational storytelling.
the major organizational storytelling leaders present at the “Action
Enabled Learning: The Power of Narrative” conference in New
leads session on the “Knowledge Sharing Initiative Using Storytelling
leads session on “Activating Human Potential in Communities
Michael Salla leads session on “The Hero’s Journey Applied
to the History of American Foreign Policy.”
and Rob Creekmore
lead session on “Tapping the Archetypal Power of Stories in
Organizations” at Van Ness (all further sessions are convened
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.
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.
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.
First official meeting of the DC Organizational Storytelling Group
(OSG – later known as “Golden Fleece”) at George Mason
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.
Initial luncheon at the World Bank to explore forming an organizational
storytelling group in Washington, DC
convenes the first Smithsonian workshop on organizational storytelling
Creekmore convene the Virtual Storytelling in Business Symposium,
sponsored by the International Storytelling Center
creates the StorytellinginBusiness List-Serv
Various informal meetings on uses of storytelling in organizations
at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough TN. Early
pioneering work of Rick Stone, Steve
Snowden, and others. Denning and Snowden begin convening “Master
stories that have illuminated the life of the Golden Fleece
group can be found here.