Building Cultures for the Future


Daniel Jacobs is a believer in the power of storytelling. As Co-Founder and CEO of Avanoo, a company focused on culture change, Jacobs has learned how to harness technology as a driver of engagement and employee experience. He will be speaking at the HR People + Strategy Strategic HR Forum, October 27-29 in Boston, on “Using Stories to Ignite Culture and Drive Clarity in the Midst of Disruption” at 11:45 am on Monday, October 28.

HRPS: How does storytelling and technology mix in the workplace?

Daniel: The power of storytelling is well known and has been for thousands of years before the advent of technology. Storytelling helps us to connect with ourselves and build bridges to each other. It also helps us understand the reason for being within the organizations that we work with and to be inspired by the work that we do.

But technology has also become equally powerful. It also allows us to build bridges of connection and it allows us to collect data to understand ourselves and each other, not just as individuals but as a collective mass. What we've done is bring together two different modalities that historically haven't spent a lot of time together but together they help us to make an impact in organizations that we think hasn't been seen before.

Executives are recognizing that it's not the widgets in organizations that are the competitive advantage, it’s the people and the culture that surrounds these people.  

HRPS: Tell us more about how learning ties into culture.

Daniel: Learning is a is a huge part of the success of any culture. Culture change is really a series of behavior changes all pointed in the same direction, whether we’re talking of hundreds of people or hundreds of thousands of people.

We come into a group with different behaviors and mindsets, and for us to become high performing both as individuals, as a team, and as an organization, we've got to figure out what it means to create alignments in these mindsets and behaviors.

And that's learning.

When we talk about the kind of learning that is behavior change, that's really different from the kind of learning that most executives are used to, which is knowledge acquisition.

Knowledge acquisition is about concrete skills. If I give you a class on Microsoft Excel, at the end you will know more about where to click and how to use Excel more effectively. 

But behavior change requires that we're emotionally connected to the changes that we want to make. Leaders need to be able to support a level of behavior change in organizations that can't be changed with the traditional kind of learning.

HRPS: You will be at the HR People + Strategy Strategic Forum this fall. Give us a sneak peek into your session. 

Daniel: My session is called “Using Stories to Ignite Culture and Drive Clarity in the Midst of Disruption.” HR leaders will have the opportunity to discover how we can use the chaos of accelerating disruption to our advantage in building extraordinary and lasting cultures. I'm really excited to teach everyone how we can use our own stories and our employees’ stories to build a connected, resilient, and authentic culture that will lead our organizations into the future.

Hear more from Daniel Jacobs:



Originally posted on the HRPS blog.


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