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The Spark Blog

An occasional series of thoughts and reflections on the role of narrative in organizational change, branding and knowledge work

Storytelling the data

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photo | Dennis Jarvis via flickr

The report from the FIA InfoNet innovation meeting we helped with in July is now available online. There’s plenty to chew on here.

With our storytelling heads on, one thing we especially like is the way BP stimulates collaboration by displaying data, key risk indicators and performance indicators on digital walls round the building. You can watch windfarms live and people congregate to do just that.

80,000 people get involved in seeing the data, striking up new conversations, find different things in the data because they aren’t the experts or that close to it. So by ‘storytelling’ the data they find different ways of thinking about, and solving, problems. Data becomes buzz. Buzz becomes the shaping of new stories and relationships.

The mobile apps start generating insights from consumers and the ‘walls’ are releasing and freeing that information up into the  buildings that we work in. This allows us to gain insights from our employees who are otherwise locked down in Microsoft Outlook.

Dean Zia Dar, BP

There’s plenty more on disruption, acceleration, incubation generally, new forms of partnership and alliance as ways to innovate products and create new markets, emerging collaborative models, how the relationshps between start-ups and investors need to be grounded and given time and strong feedback loops, how to value internal and external innovation in equally disciplined ways, the opportunities and threats of big data, how to use the constraints of regulation as an innovation opportunity.

And not just in the arcane world of derivatives and financial technology. Wade through the technical particulars of people speaking in Derivatish and there’s lots to stimulate and with much wider relevance.

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