ASQ Storytime – A Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Join the ASQ Team and Workplace Excellence Forum on Tuesday, June 15 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, for ASQ Storytime, a fun story share where you are invited to share your stories as a quality professional. Stories may either be free-style or in PechaKucha style on the themes of “Driving out Fear” or “Quality Life After the Pandemic.”

Each story will be five minutes.

Register to speak here

Prizes (books) will be awarded for the best stories (voted by participants) in each style category, for funniest, education, and “Thing I will use tomorrow”

Register for the Event here

Driving out Fear

Norm Howe, a colleague in the ASQ and a great guy, wrote on his company’s blog “It Doesn’t Make Any Difference How Nice the Boss Is” and I want to strongly recommend that people read it.

Norm tells an engaging story where he shares a formative experience on the value of driving out fear. He then explains that we as managers grew up in these cultures and it requires work to build a new culture.

He hits on a great note, managers are part of the cultures they grew up in. We are like trees with many rings, and it can be very difficult just to change that.

I love story-sharing like this.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Storytelling and Leaders

As leaders a big part of our work is ensuring the know-why – fostering and sharing an understanding of work culture and values. This is a continuing, long-term co-creative process that does not happen overnight. An important part of this work is shaping and sharing stories, using the past as a shaper of the future to give meaning to events. As stories are told in the present, they become a partner in shaping the future.

To successfully change, it is important to understand the past as well as dream for the future. Storytelling as a method and tool has real power to foster dialogue, reveal culture and create a shared vision:

  • Storytelling makes complex situations and phenomena accessible and provides details that can be used to build action plans for change and improvement.
  • Stories reveal values and principles embedded in a culture that are often hidden from the naked eye.
  • Stories make visible driving forces for change that are not revealed when direct questions are asked.
  • Stories provides a platform for understanding different perspectives. It breaks down barriers and builds bridges of trust.
  • Stories highlight turning points that can be used to facilitate innovation and change.

Through storytelling and dialog, we strengthen structure, identity and culture. It is how we tell our story.

Quality Book Shelf – Data Story

Every quality professional needs to read Data Story: Explain Data and Inspire Action through Story by Nancy Duarte.

This book does an amazing job of giving you the tools of transforming a boring management review into a compelling narrative. Following the step-by-step recommendations will give you a blueprint for effective telling the story of your organizations quality maturity and help you execute into action.

For example, this table is the start of an amazing section about crafting a narrative that then goes into an amazing discussion on structuring a slide presentation to get this done.

 Argumentative Writing (Logical Approach)Persuasive Writing (Emotional Appeal)Writing a Recommendation (Blend of Both)
PurposeConstruct compelling evidence that your viewpoint is backed by the truth and is factualPersuade the audience to agree with your perspective and take action on your viewpointUse the data available, plus intuition, to form a point of view that requires action from your organization
ApproachDeliver information from both sides of the issue by choosing one side as valid and causing others to doubt the counterclaimDeliver information and opinions on only one side of the issue, and develop a strong connection with a target audienceDevelop a story supported by evidence ad also include any counterarguments your audience may have, so tat they feel you have considered their perspective
AppealsUse logical appears to support claims with solid examples, expert opinions, data, and facts. The goal is to be right, not necessarily take actionUse emotional appeals to convince others of your opinion and feelings, so the audience will move forward on your perspectiveStructure the appeal as a story, support your recommendation with data and solid evidence that sticks by adding meaning
ToneProfessional, tactful, logicalPersonal, passionate, emotionalAppropriate tone based on the audience

Another great takeaway is when Nancy presents results of her extensive analysis on word patterns in speeches, right down to the choice of effective verbs, conjunctions, adjectives, adverbs, interjections, and rhetorical questions. The choice of “process or performance verbs” is connected to whether the recommended course of action is continuity, change or termination.

This is a book that keeps giving.

I found it so invaluable that I bought a copy for everyone on my team.

WCQI Day 3 – Afternoon

Afternoon Keynote – Cheryl Cran on NextMapping

Future of work thought leadership….People First, Digital Second

Digital second is an interesting keynote theme (2 out of 4) and I appreciate the discussion on equitable futures and moving companies away from autocracy. Not sure anyone who speaks at large corporations is really all that committed to the concept. And I didn’t feel much more than lip service to the concept in this keynote.

Stressing reverse mentoring is good, something that all of us need to be building the tools to do better. Building it into technology integration is good.

Basic sum-up is that Change Leadership Traits are:

  • Relational vs transactional
  • Focus on ‘people’ first
  • Highly adaptable to people
  • and situations
  • Coach approach
  • Creative solutions
  • Future focused
  • Transparent
  • Empowering

In short, any talk that thinks having a clip from “In Good Company” is a good idea for teaching agile thinking is problematic.

“Storytelling: The Forgotten Change Management Tool ” by Keith Houser

Storytelling is one of the critical jobs of a quality professional, and this was a great presentation. Another flip session with pre-work that a lot of folks didn’t do.

I’m going to let Keith’s template speak for itself: https://www.eventscribe.com/2019/ASQ-World/flipSessions.asp?h=Full%20Schedule&BCFO2=FL

This was marked basic. And unlike a lot of stuff marked intermediate this felt like truly a best practice, pushing the envelope in many ways. Sure I apply these principles, but the discipline here is impressive.