If you were following me on Twitter this September you saw from my waterfall of tweets that I was at the Business Innovation Factory’s Story Summit; a cornucopia of storytellers sharing their innovation tales. Six months earlier I had written this post, Why I’m Going to BIF-7, and I carried with me some questions:
- As a host of conversations that matter, I want to explore how I can encourage the random collision of unusual suspects. Who was the most unusual suspect that became involved? What worked in getting them to the table? Who would have made a tremendous difference had you involved them earlier?
- I’m keen to learn the warrior tales of those playing in an emergent new world. What are they doing? What failed? What worked? Who are their networks, their communities of practice? How are they helping the old systems die gracefully without harming all the inhabitants? How are they building bridges to the new?
- The people at BIF could be the callers I hope to be of service to one day hosing conversations that matter, and what better opportunity to learn how I can grow and learn and develop to prepare to host the conversations of tomorrow. Who knows – maybe next year I’ll be back at BIF-8 to host that kind of conversation.
- My hunch is that BIF creates space for more turn-towards-each-other conversations while keeping the catalytic spark of inspiring stories. I’m excited to learn more about the conference design, what works and how it taps into the wisdom in everyone present.
After pouring over my 51 mind maps I collected the golden threads from all the storytellers that connected to my questions. I won’t create recaps of stories (many others have done this far more eloquently than I could have). Instead, I’ll use the Art of Hosting design practices Five Breaths of Design and the Chaordic Stepping Stones to scaffold those golden threads. And while you might not be interested in my scaffolding, I hope some nuggets of this harvest are useful to you.