Presenter Information

Chris Cummings
Alex LavidgeFollow

Department

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Dept. of Psychology

Publisher

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)

Abstract

Stories shared either publicly or privately within work environments influence schemata that in turn can affect employee performance. These myriad stories may include how a problem was solved, how productivity was increased on a particular task, or in less positive instances whom is to blame for an unmet expectation. Such stories may also serve to illustrate how and why employees find meaning in their work and/or the broader organization and its mission. This presentation will begin by exploring academic research regarding how the culmination of these stories about the past, present, and future predictions can shape both positive and negative attitudes and beliefs that shape the “culture,” and therefore the desired KPIs, of an organization. Next, challenges will be explored beginning with how management sometimes lacks a holistic awareness of what stories are being told that make up the authentic culture. Instead, in an effort to foster peak performance, a counter-productive and autocratic approach is commonplace where values are disseminated regardless of input from employees, stakeholders, or outside research findings. This comes at opportunity cost as well and in other cases a direct financial cost as well. Chris Cummings, CEO and Alex Lavidge from Pass It Down, an award-winning Chattanooga-based storytelling agency offering internet-based storytelling-software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, propose that by collecting stories from employees both anonymously and through multimedia online around specific questions, time and money can be saved when compared to lengthy interviews or relying on online surveys. From there, the outcome from presenting these stories using established story arc templates includes a variety of benefits that can both theorized as well as measured for enhancing the workplace in both tangible and intangible ways. Cummings and Lavidge will present a framework for compartmentalizing subcategories of knowledge transfer for companies and organizations as well as different metrics for how the costs of storytelling might be justified. This session will end with an interactive and audience-involved discussion about the themes covered in this presentation.

Date

October 2017

Subject

Industrial and organizational psychology

Document Type

presentations

Language

English

Rights

Under copyright.

License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

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Oct 28th, 2:40 PM Oct 28th, 3:40 PM

Understanding an Organization’s Culture through its Stories

Stories shared either publicly or privately within work environments influence schemata that in turn can affect employee performance. These myriad stories may include how a problem was solved, how productivity was increased on a particular task, or in less positive instances whom is to blame for an unmet expectation. Such stories may also serve to illustrate how and why employees find meaning in their work and/or the broader organization and its mission. This presentation will begin by exploring academic research regarding how the culmination of these stories about the past, present, and future predictions can shape both positive and negative attitudes and beliefs that shape the “culture,” and therefore the desired KPIs, of an organization. Next, challenges will be explored beginning with how management sometimes lacks a holistic awareness of what stories are being told that make up the authentic culture. Instead, in an effort to foster peak performance, a counter-productive and autocratic approach is commonplace where values are disseminated regardless of input from employees, stakeholders, or outside research findings. This comes at opportunity cost as well and in other cases a direct financial cost as well. Chris Cummings, CEO and Alex Lavidge from Pass It Down, an award-winning Chattanooga-based storytelling agency offering internet-based storytelling-software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, propose that by collecting stories from employees both anonymously and through multimedia online around specific questions, time and money can be saved when compared to lengthy interviews or relying on online surveys. From there, the outcome from presenting these stories using established story arc templates includes a variety of benefits that can both theorized as well as measured for enhancing the workplace in both tangible and intangible ways. Cummings and Lavidge will present a framework for compartmentalizing subcategories of knowledge transfer for companies and organizations as well as different metrics for how the costs of storytelling might be justified. This session will end with an interactive and audience-involved discussion about the themes covered in this presentation.