Storytelling to Capture Knowledge: Mobilising the Learning Organisation (or How Fanta was invented)

I wrote this piece for Singapore’s Information and KM Society (IKMS) quarterly news magazine, GLOBE, (Growth Leadership Organisation Business Education) 4th Quarter, 2014.  Madanmohan Rao was the editor.  I wish I had a quarter of the energy Madanmohan has but I don’t.  He has put together resources for knowledge management that I use on a regular basis.

GLOBE, iKMS Quarter 4 edition 2014, pages 50-53, “Storytelling to capture knowledge: Mobilising the learning organization”, Bill Proudfit.

The theme for the Globe quarterly was KM and the Learning Organisation.  The LO has been around for long enough to become accepted wisdom.  Of course, we all want to learn but…it’s so hard to learn…how to apply learning to make something truly new and different is even more difficult.

Fanta has been my favourite soft drink since I was a young boy growing up in the deep American south.  I wondered how could anyone figure out how to make this great tasting stuff.  Here is a story, maybe somewhat true, I’ve never been sure how much of it is and how much of it isn’t.   Its a story which I’ve used over and over to illustrate how innovation requires having your back-up-against the wall and disaster seems just about to be a certainty but then, miraculously, an event occurs, a hero arrives, a problem is solved and the solution (sometimes) leads to great success.

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