The use of allegory to share stories

  • The use of allegory to share stories

    Posted by Chris on March 9, 2023 at 6:15 am

    As I explored the topic of story in work, I remembered that I had read books that had a fictional, narrative style. While I don’t read fiction (😱) these were engaging and helpful in understanding the principles behind the characters and story.

    I believe they were allegories, fables and/or parables…

    • an allegory is a narrative or visual representation in which a character, place, or event can be interpreted to represent a hidden meaning.
    • a fable is a short story, typically with animals as characters, conveying a moral.
    • a parable is a succinct, didactic story that illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles.

    An allegorical business book that I remember is The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.

    Steve Denning, a former World Bank executive discovered the power of story-telling to foster change. He went on to write, Squirrel, Inc. a fable in which Denning uses squirrels portrayed living a corporate life to introduce the value and use of story telling in business.

    What stories in the form of allegory, fable or parable do you remember learning from?

    • This discussion was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  Chris.
    Chris replied 1 year, 1 month ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Sarah

    March 10, 2023 at 10:16 am

    OK – this might be controversial – but I hated this book 😬. As a lover of fiction (you don’t read fiction, @Chris ?!) the storytelling felt childish and forced. I really had to slog through it. THAT SAID – I have countless colleagues who loved it. The simple story structure really helped them connect to the principles Lencioni was sharing. AND – if I’m being honest, I remember the 5 dysfunctions years after reading it, so I guess it worked? 😂

    • Chris

      March 10, 2023 at 10:44 am

      For sure! Not controversial at all. I agree with your assessment of the quality of the fiction. 🙂 There are a lot of books on my shelf that I think are poorly written and/or cringy, but I appreciate the concepts/ideas they are sharing.

      I’m just a sponge for concepts, principles & ideas and as a result, I often sop up some messes. 😆

      But then I know about them and try to make them relevant to my work.

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