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NARRATIVES IN AN ORGANISATION

NARRATIVES IN AN ORGANISATION

Storytelling has been the way of life since we have started our lives. Our culture, ethos, emotions, motivation and purpose are built on the stories that we listen to and narrative that it creates around ourselves. With multiple narratives around us, as we grow, we filter many of them and choose few of them to become the guiding principle of our existence for the life that we further pursue and that is the struggle that is bestowed upon us by virtue of gaining Consciousness as a gift of nature.

I found that the organisations in the similar way are built on a narrative which builds it’s Vision and Mission. Many narratives are born out of that single narration of entrepreneurship and which further creates a world of opinions and decisions which ultimately guide individual actions in an organisation. 

I remember meeting an organisational behaviour professor who informed to remove us vs them from our life and think to build relationship both in personal and professional life. Even recently one of the scholar who is a researcher in social sector organisations again referred to the same concept to me of how to remove us vs them from organisational thinking. This brought me to think, How do organisations tackle different opinions or narratives? Do they value opinion more than people or people more than opinion? When I take the cue from these academicians and relate it to the organisational functioning, I find it a beautiful and powerful idea of how we and organisational leaders should think while taking decisions. 

It is well argued that, it is not about us vs them or me vs you, its not about people vs people or employee vs employee rather its about narrative vs narrative and opinion vs opinion. It’s not people that should be bound in the conflict of narratives and opinions, instead create an ethos where all opinions and narratives come out of disguise to common platform and then based on facts and constructive discussions, biases are removed and a single rational choice of narrative emerge which is closest to the Vision and Mission of the company. It is imperative that organisations create this distinction between Narratives and People in order to fast pace the growth of the company with right choices.

Edwards Deming, famous statistician, once referred to the point that eighty five percent of the reasons for failure are deficiencies in the systems and processes rather than the employee. The Role of management is to change the process rather than badgering individuals to do better. These narratives are somehow hidden sometimes under the burden of biases within the organisation and on other times under the hierarchy and Red Tapism inside the organisation. I argue, that bias towards a particular narrative is nothing but a lethargic excuse to laziness in building processes and system’s thinking. It is the process and system in place that tend to create a breathing space for such original narratives which could get the strength to fight and build its case. Successful organisations are build on design thinking, science of management and intrapreneurial thought which push the real purpose of the organisation forward. Such processes and thinking inside the organisation do not punish the people with different narratives, rather tend to bring out true narrative in front and bring those people under the same umbrella by persuasion, coordination, training and a culture of factual based thinking.

Herbert Simon, in his theory of bounded rationality, affirmed that our rationality is bounded and limited by the information that we have. Pivoting ourselves to only easy and comfortable narratives creates clouded vision and hence force us to take irrational choices. Leaders should tend to gather all information and narratives prevalent in the organization and then choose the real one. We should change ourselves and think beyond what is available to see and is fit to our comfort and find the real narrative to any problem after adequate discussion and consultation in a non-cohesive and rich environment.

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