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Stories of hope

 

Disciplines > Storytelling > Storytelling in organizations > Stories of hope

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Stories of hope tell of what might be.

They may speak of the the hope for rescue from dire straits, of someone who will save the people and save the organisation from the mess in which it finds itself now.

They may also project hope for positive success, of achieving visionary goals, of fat bonuses or of international acclaim.

The hope in the story comes may come out in the wistful tone and expressions of desire more than determination. There is typically a sense of dependency, for example on leader or on external and uncontrollable forces.

Example

We are in terrible times. Our products have hit regulatory issues just as JBD Systems has brought out a low-cost substitute for which we have no answer. However, I have been in times like this before and know that there is an answer, and that the answer lies in this room. I want all of us - all of us - to work together on a new design that will regain us the lead and out reputation. Jim Broad in R&D has shown me some superb ideas. I know that if we all pull together we can have it out of the door within six, maybe four months.

Discussion

Whether the hoped-for end is achieved may well be seen as being out of the hands of the hopers and in the hands of fate. This puts the hoper in a child position, effectively seeking a parent to rescue them.

Leaders can use hope stories to show themselves to be in harmony with the hopeful workforce, typically in times of change. The leader may then change tone and show them the way forward.

In organisations, hope stories may originate in Basic Assumption Groups as described by Wilfred Bion, where dependent followers seek a leader who will rescue them.

See also

Fearful stories, Transactional Analysis, Coping Mechanisms

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