WHAT IS FRACTAL STORYTELLING CONSULTING? Study Guide by David M. Boje Jan 15 2014

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There are six cases in this studyguide.

CASE ONE: Fractal-Branching of Departments in a College of Business

CASE TWO: GOLD Graphic Arts Consulting Firm

CASE THREE: Daniel Q. Boje's entreprenurship, Fractal-Spiral Story of the Trash Compactor (see full article pdf)

CASE FOUR: Fractal Analytics Consulting Company

CASE FIVE: BIGstory and bigDATA, Mike Bonifer's new consulting company used Quantum and Fractal Storytelling

CASE SIX: Tonya Henderson's Study of Fractal-Spirals

 

Patrick Hoverstadt (2009: 349) defines ‘fractal: as “a set of design rules… replicated in systems, subsystems, sub-sub-systems and so on” He recommends “the same generic structure at all levels” (IBID.). Benoit Mandelbrot (1975) coined the term fractals. Mandelbrot’s definition of fractals: “irregular and/or fragmented at all scales” (Nottalle, 2011: 44).

These fractal design rules accomplish self-similar patterns across scales of magnification in series of spaces and times.

Let's start with a very simple branching-fractal: Travel, then get into a case

First ONE MINUTE VERSION: What is Fratal Marketing?

 

You can watch a half hour video, done by Wolfe, of FRACTAL FOUNDATION, of New Mexico, to get ideas for Fractal Activities (Fractivities) that you can use with the cases.

CASE ONE: Fractal-Branching of Departments in a College of Business

Branching Fractal Example of College of Business

Figure 1: Example of a Branching Fractal (Drawing by Boje, Jan 15 2014)

My purpose here is to reveal the interdisciplinary aspects of fractal storytelling across the departments and specialties of the College of Business at New Mexico State University.

Fractal-Branching that is exactly the same is called self-similar. Here it is self-similar across departments, each of which splits into specialties. Management Department, for example, is split into operation, human resources, strategy, entrepreneurship, leadership, and whatever it is Boje does (storytelling pattern anlyses). Marketing is split into consumer behavior, branding, etc. There is replication at every scale across the departments. The other htree departments are mergers of two deparments. For example, Economics acquired a Statistics department form the Agriculture College. Accounting acquired BCIS (Business Computing & Information Systems), and Finance acquired Business Law. There are some differences. Marketing and Management have Ph.D. programs. Accounting has its own masters in accounting, and has its own career fair for its students. Economics has a Doctorate in Economic Development (DED) rather than a PH.D. program.

Next, we will look more carefully, at the fractal-branching story of the College of Business of NMSU.

This Fractal-Branching occurred year-by-year, semester-by-semester, day-by-day --- over the history of the college (1964-2014, 50thAnniversary). Of course, the fractal-branching started before there was an offical 'College of Business.' In 1916 a two-year pgrogram n Business Administration was offered in the Department of Education in the College of Arts and Sciences. Its focus was secretairal training classes in typing, stenography, commercial arithmetic, and business English (see source). In 1920 a Department of Commerce was founded, and two years leater, the 2-year program became a 4-year program. In 1926 the first class graduated from and was awarded the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. In 1929, more fractal-branching occurred: economic courses were added to the Department of Commerce. In 1942, with WWII, enrollment dropped to aobut 100, and there was a reduction in staff. 1947 to 1950, the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration is taught in former-military barracks. By 1950 the name of the fractal-branching has changed to Department of Business Administration and Economics (DBA&E). This growing fracal (DBA&E) moves into the basement of Hadley Hall in 1954. 1962, DBA&E split locations, with secretaial labs remaining in basement of Hadley Hall, and the BA&E classes moving to surplus buildings moved to Las Cruces (NM) from Fort Bliss (TX).

The Department of Commerce has outgrown its basement facilities and moves during the first week of fall semester classes, this time into surplus buildings (from Fort Bliss, TX) which were placed near Young Hall. The accounting and secretarial labs remain in Hadley Hall. "Created by action of the Board of Regents on September 10, 1963, the College of Business Administration and Economics (CBAE) becomes a reality" (see source). Gwynne Leland Guthrie becomes the college’s first dean. By 1964 there are three departments in the CBAE: Eccounting, Economics, and General Business. Bachelor degrees are offered in Accounting, Econmics, Finace, General Business, Management, Marketing, and Secretarial Administration. There are two-year Certificates in Secretarial, and in Data Processing and Computer Technology. In 1968, the fractal-branching of CBAE moves into Gutherie Hall, and it transforms its labels: "The General Business Administration Department changes to the Business Administration Department. Two-Year Certificates are changed to Two-Year Associate Degrees" (source). In 1969, majors in General Business and Management are combined into one, General Management major. In 1970, there are changes: Business Systems Analysis major is added, and the major for Secretarial Administration is discontinued. 1971 Graduate degrees are added for an MBA and a Master of Arts in Economics. 1972, more shifting of the CBAE fractal branching:

"The BBA major in Accounting is changed to Bachelor of Accountancy. General Management changes to Management, and Managerial Accounting is added. The Accounting Department name is changed to the Accounting & Finance Department. The Business Administration Department is changed to the Management Department" (IBID.).

In 1973 all the secretarial courses and data processing/computer technology are discontinued. In 1974, Management Department adds Marketing to its name, becoming Management and Marketing Department. But in 1975, "The Management and Marketing Department is renamed back to the Management Department" and there is a split, another fractal branching: "The Marketing & General Business Department is added to the college" (IBID). There are four departments for the next few years: Accounting & Finance, Economics, Management, and Marketing and General Business. In 1984, there is a split, a branching-fractal development: "The Accounting & Finance Department changes its name to the Accounting Department, and the college creates the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate Department" (IBID).There are now five deparments, as in the above figure.

Branching-fractals are common occurences in university college and department development. What we have done is create a fractal-branching-narrative.

Next, a corporate example.

CASE TWO: GOLD Graphic Arts Consulting Firm

Tonya Henderson and I, preparing for a book, due in February 2015, interviewed Heidi Meredith and Renée Walker, founding partners of GOLD, a graphic arts consulting firm. They invented something they call 'Wikia Fractal Story' (source):

"Wikia faced the problem of how to tell their story as a pioneer in a new media landscape. Gold developed the metaphor of the fractal as a storytelling device to describe Wikia as a living organism, constantly changing, morphing, growing as pages are created and the Wikia community participates."

The fractal story, tells about the changing, morphing, and growing of Wikia community in a visual grpahic display. Renee and Heidi worked with marketing people from Vikia for 18 months to come up with this visual grpahic, to brand a Wikia fractal story. This is just one of many drawing.

Wikia Fractal Story

Figure 2: Wikia Fractal Story - used by permisison of GOLD Jan 2015

"Gold worked with Wikia to create a series of infographics that would reveal patterns in Internet usage among Generation Z users" (source). "The fractal metaphor describes a living organism, constantly changing, morphing, growing as pages are created and the Wikia community participates" (source).

Let's zoom in to see the branching-fractal and its scale of self-similarity at a high magnification.

Figure 3: Zooming in on the Fractal-Story Pattern

Fractals that are self-similar show visual structures at all zoom-scales (observed/measured at different spatial resolutions). Here we see that beginning with Scriptoriums and then Guttenberg's printing press, there is a branching into TV and Radio mediums. TV branches into Internet, which splits into branching of Blogging, Social Media, etc. Radio branches, in Video and many other unspecified mediums. What I want to point out here is that the branching-fractal is transformed in the visual grpahic to a Fibonacci fractal-spiral. In turn, moving from left to righ, the fractal-spiraling transformed into a rhizome (clusters of interactivity, moving every which way, without a central axis). Before we get into rhizomes, let's talk more about spirals.

Italian matematician Leonardo Bonacci Fibonacci (c. 1170 – c. 1250) introduced the Fibonacci number sequence, where each next number is the sum of the previous two: 1+1=2; 1+2=3; 2+3=5; 3+5=8; 5+8=13' 8+13=21; 21+13=34, etc. creating the Fibonacci Spiral, a pattern we see in Snail shells, the Sunflowers, and so on.

Figure 4: Fibonacci Fractal-Spiral (source, no permission needed)

The Fibonacci fractal-spiral is a visual graphic representation. In the next example, we show how this applies to depiciting entrepreneurship as a fractal-spiral story.

CASE THREE: Daniel Q. Boje's entreprenurship, Fractal-Spiral Story of the Trash Compactor

This is from a 'Quantum Storytelling conference proceedings paper (Boje, 2014b). I will trace the intertextuality of 52 patents incorporating or extending Daniel Boje’s patents, from the 1960s to the present day (see Appendix A for listing). This is the original patent drawing my dad sketched out and submitted.

When I (David) was getting out of high school in June 1966, my dad filed his first patent Oct. 20, 1966, Aug 9 1967, and again May 2, and May 21, 1968, for his ‘waste compacting device’  (United States Patent O 3,384,007 WASTE COMPACTING DEVICE Daniel Q. Boje, Fairfield, NJ, and Samuel Taylor Permutt, Jamaica Estates, and Sol Kestin, Bronx, N Y).

Description: an Boje Trash Compactor Invention
Figure 5- Daniel Q Boje US Pat NO. 3,384,007 issued May 21, 1968 Patented Apr 9 1974 (approved) See Source

He had just filled his initial patent for a Trash Compactor, and the partners to his (ad) venture. It was, at the time, a mechanical device, with gears driving a plunger, into a funnel shaped cylinder.

Sol sold his jewelry business for the cash to get the ‘Trash Compactor’ manufactured, and his brother-in-law Samuel (Sam) got legislation passed in New York and New Jersey to require the Trash Compactor in apartment buildings with over 10 units, as an alternative to the Smoke Scrubber, that was a more expensive solution. Dan, Sol, and Sam were assignors to Compactor Corporation, a corporation of New York Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 588,050, Oct. 20, 1966.

When you calculate the 52 patents filed by other corporations, referencing my dad's 1966 patents, you get a pattern of intertext referencing like this one.

Daniel Q. Boje's Fractal Spiral of Patents
Figure 6:  Cumulative Number of Patents Referencing Daniel Boje’s Patent in their own.

In this figure, you can see a ‘Fractal Story’ depiction of patent-intertextuality that looks much like a Fibonacci Spiral. Patent-intertextuality is defined as the patent's that follow on, referencing the original patent. The Commercial Trash Compactor entrepreneurial sociomateriality exhibits the regular, recurring, fractal-spiral of self-sameness approximating a Fibonacci series (1+1=2; 1+2=3; 2+3=5; 3+5=8, and so on).

I have a project in mind: to trace out the patents referencing other prior patents, of all 52 patents now citing my dad's patents. As they branch into all kinds of industries, I predict it will look something like the Wikia fractal-spiral story we examined, with all kinds of Fibonacci fractal-spiral offshoots.

My dad's time is over. As he told me time and again, the age of the independent entreprenur is done, and now corporations have taken over the patent game. Its a game palyed with a strategy of surround and capture.

As Gavin Clarkson (2004: 75) describes it, there is a ‘patent thicket’: “When organizations in technology industries attempt to advance their innovative activities, they almost always must be cognizant of the intellectual property rights of others. When further innovation is thwarted, however, the situation can be described as a patent thicket.” A ‘patent thicket’ is defined by Clarkson and DeKorte (2006: 180) as “unintentionally dense webs of overlapping intellectual property rights owned by different companies that can retard progress. ” In this case, the patent thicket barrier was breeched and a fractal-spiral emerged. Please see full paper Boje, D. M. (2014) in Proceedings of QUantum Storytelling Conference PDF or at PROCEDINGS page see full article pdf).

CASE FOUR: Fractal Analytics Consulting Company

Some fractals cannot be visualized. They come out of a discipline called Fractal Analytics. There is a consulting company by this same name,Fractal Analytics. It was founded in 2000, has 13 offices and established a Fractal Science Lab (Source). They are doing BIG DATA and fractal analytics, and have job postings). They have a FRACTAL-Change strategy (Economic Times article; more articles): To develop an " understanding of consumers and earn customer loyalty, and make better data-informed decisions. Leading global companies partner with Fractal Analytics to build breakthrough analytics solutions, set up analytical centers of excellence, and institutionalize data-driven decisioning." More FRACTAL CHANGE MANAGEMENT jobs

Who is Fractal Analytics?

Who is Fractal Analytics?

Watch Video

Analytics shaping the future of IT

Fractal Analytics shaping the future of IT

Watch Video

 

The co-founders of Data Analytics are Srikanth Velamakanni (Chief Executive Officer) and  Pranay Agrawal (Executive Vice President). “Applying mathematics and analytics skills in capital markets and consumer banking, their team launched the first collateralized bond obligation instrument in India” (source).

In 2000, when they realized how their skills could impact the way businesses engage with consumers, vendors, partners and employees, they launched Fractal Analytics. They set up offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, Singapore, London, and Dubai.  In 2005 Fractal Analytics set up offices in New York, and later in San Francisco (now their corporate headquarters).  Then Canada, Italy and Switzerland. They now work with clients in 150 countries.

They leverage Big Data with factorial analytics to drive business decisions, by becoming a strategic partner to their clients. They consult using a wide range of fractal analytics, from visual graphics to forecasting programs. They offer this advice for more accurate and faster decisions:

"1. First, you need to transform your Big Data into meaningful information elements that feed into business intelligence and predictive analytics. 

2. Next you need the kind of insights and predictions to fuel the decisions your business users need, including a deep understanding of your customers, your business, and interactions within your market and competitive landscape. 

3. And last, analytics need to be delivered to business users in a visual way so they can quickly and easily absorb, diagnose, and solve problems to meet their objectives” (source).

CASE FIVE: BIGstory and bigDATA, Mike Bonifer's new consulting company used Quantum and Fractal Storytelling

Tonya Henderson and I interviewed Mike Bonifer, who is trademarking 'BIGstory' and using it in relation to Big Data, for his clients. Mike has been a long time participant in the Quantum Storytelling Conference (http://quantumstorytelling.org) held in Las Cruces, New Mexico. "Mike Bonifer is the co-founder of GameChangers, LLC, and the author of GameChangers--Improvisation for Business in the Networked World" (Wikipedia page). His clients include Disney, United Airlines, Allstate, Giant Eagle, Department of Energy, SKYPE, and many others (source).

"Quantum storytelling is a field in organizational theory that explores how stories live in networks, communities and organizations, and what the managers and leaders of those groups can do about it.

Our commercial name for quantum storytelling is “Big Story.” We describe it as a way of using story to make better sense of Big Data. A client of ours calls it “a theory of story.” Which is cool. To that, we’ll add, it is both Theory and Practice of story. And unless you’re a Hopi shaman a quantum physicist or a trained improviser, the odds are it’s unlike any theory or practice of story you’ve encountered.

The theory of Big Story will give our clients more ways of seeing and expressing relationships between data and story.

The practice of BigStory consistently improves the odds of a company or community’s bets on the future.

Welcome to our bet on the future. Today, Big Story is what we do. We always have, really, we just never had the names to name it or the structure to define it. Today we do. Today, we own it, in order to share it with you" (source).

CASE SIX: Tonya Henderson's Study of Fractal-Spirals

Tonya Henderson-Wakefield's (2012) dissertation on quantum fractal spirals in organizations. She details the development of fractal management theory."Eleven nonprofit leaders from Colorado Springs,
Colorado were each interviewed twice, once to identify fractal-like patterns in their dayto-day
lived experiences within an altruistic network, and a second time to examine the
deeper ontological meaning of the topics and patterns discussed" (Henderson, 2012: 11). A fractal
action research model (FARM) is developed, bringing ontological inquiry and patternrecognition
together.

FARM Model Tonya Henderson

Figure 7: FARM Model - Source: Henderson, p. 246).

" The first set of interviews was conducted in May 2012, a month prior to the Waldo Canyon fire. By
chance, the second set of interviews commenced while the city was threatened and introduced the effects of turbulence into the ontic discovery of emergent patterns and exploration of deeper, ontological meaning. Story performances were grouped into eight themes, for which models were developed. These eight models were then tied together, reflecting a common mode of working in the network under study" (p. 11). Here theory: "As turbulence increases, process ontology increasingly trumps the belief that organizations are entities, that their structures drive process, not the other way around" (p. 31).

CASE SEVEN: Mandelbrot Set Fractals

Figure 8 - Mandelbrot Set Fractal Art by Boje Jan 19 2014

I generated this Mandelbrot Set fractal using software that can be downloaded for free from the Fractal Foundation in New Mexico.

WHAT IS A FRACTAL SYSTEM?
"A Fractal System is a complex, non-linear, interactive system which has the ability to adapt to a changing environment... semi-autonomous agents interact according to certain rules of interaction, evolving to maximise some measure like fitness" WHAT IS FRACTAL THEORY "fractal theory, a theory based on relationships, emergence, patterns and iterations" (- Peter Fryer and Jules Ruis). Fractal Design Cycle (Jules Ruis.)

 

Facets of Storytelling

Storytelling is constituted by three interactive facets: (1) grand narratives of the past, (2) webs of living stories unfolding in the Present, & (3) antenarrative trajectories that relate grand narratives to living stories webs in quite different ways to prospect the future. For background, please see Ontological Storytelling? What is Living Story? and What is Antenarrative? studyguides.

A current Storytelling definition (Boje, Jørgensen, & Strand, expected 2013: 3):

"Storytelling, here, is defined more broadly, as something agential such as the iterative intra-active-material-storytelling domains of "living stories‟ and "antenarratives‟ in the theatre of action, which go beyond the classical narrative focus on structuralist and representationalist elements and retrospection (Boje, 2001, 2008a)."

Boje, D. M.; Jørgensen, Kenneth Mølbjerg; & Strand, Anete M. Camille. (expected 2013) Towards a postcolonialist Storytelling Theory of management and organization," accepted 9/27/2011 for publication in Journal of Management Philosophy. Click here for pre-press PDF.

In other words storytelling is the says antenarratives inter-connect retrospective-narratives with living stories in the theatre of action. Narratives often focus on epistemic (knowing), living stories (on Being-in-the-world) and the antenarrative connect them together quite differently. Organizations undergo transformations.

Fractal Change Mangement

Strazdina and Kirikova (2011: 735) state that “change management is an important process enabling the definition of a successful enterprise strategy and operations — especially in a turbulent environment).” They define a change management methodology for fractal systems.

 

Sandkuhl and Kirikova (2011) did a study of fractal organizing:

"However, those properties which were detected confirmed the results of the original business analysis, i.e. utilization of self-similarity for the process and product perspective (SS-2 and SS-3) and goal orientation (GO-1) are relevant and valuable for the enterprise under consideration. Self-Similarity in the product perspective also showed a case where it is important to see and respect limitations of self-similarity, since some levels of the product structure have similarities, but these similarities disappear with increasing specialization” (p. 204)

 

 

REFERENCES FOR THIS SECTION

Boje, D. M. (2014b). Fractal Story and Fractal Ethnography of Entrepreneurial Sustainability:
Daniel Q. Boje’s Trash Compactor Patents and Enterprise. Proceedings Paper for 4th Annual Quantum Storytelling Conference, December 17 – 19 2014, held at ‘Inn of the Arts,’ Las Cruces, New Mexico

Hoverstadt, Patrick. (2011). The fractal organization: creating sustainable organizations with the viable system model. John Wiley & Sons.

Pugese, Bruce H. 2014. Fractal cycle turning points: A theory of human social progression. Ecological Complexity journal, Vol. 20: 157–175.

Sandkuhl, K., & Kirikova, M. (2011). Analysing enterprise models from a fractal organisation perspective-potentials and limitations. In The Practice of Enterprise Modeling (pp. 193-207). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. See PDF.

Strazdina, R., & Kirikova, M. (2011). Change management for fractal enterprises. In Information Systems Development (pp. 735-745). Springer New York.

Wakefield, Tonya Henderson. (2012b). An ontology of storytelling systemicity: Management, fractals and the Waldo Canyon fire. (Doctorate of Management Doctoral dissertation), Colorado Technical University, Colorado Springs, CO. Dissertation link

Wakefield, T. H., & Boje, D. (2012). Gly’s purse: Materiality as Viewed through a Three-fold Diffractive Lens. Paper presented at the 2nd Annual Quantum Storytelling Conference. (PDF link)


 

Storytelling and Transformations: General Overview

"The most current of such transformations occurs in storytelling and generally in artistic transpositing of individual experiences" (Hannah Arendt, 1958: 50).

Consultants and change agents use storytelling to effect transformations.

Great Storytellers?

"All great storytellers have in common the freedom with which they move up and down the rungs of their experience as on a ladder. A ladder extending downward to the interior of the earth and disappearing into the clouds is the image for a collective experience to which even the deepest shock of every individual experience, death, constitutes no impediment or barrier" (Walter Benjamin, 1936: 83).

3 TYPES OF STORYTELLING

  1. 'Material Storytelling': This is the work of Anete Camille Strand (2011, 2012) from Denmark.
      • Strand, Anete Mikkala Camille. (2011). Presentation on ‘material storytelling’ to 20th anniversary meeting of sc’MOI, meeting in Philadelphia, April.

      • Strand, Anete Mikkala Camille. (2012). Enacting The Between: On Dis/continuous intra-active Becoming of/through an Apparatus of Material Storytelling. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, Aalborg University, Denmark. Books 1 and 2 are online

  2. ' Ontological Storytelling': This is my own work applying Heidegger, Bakhtin, Mead, Deleuze and others.
  3. 'Quantum Storytelling': See the film, read the books.

How are material storytelling, ontological storytelling, and quantum storytelling related? The old material ontologies have been giving ground to quantum storytelling.

Four Antenarrative Trajectories

Antenarrative is a bet and a pre-story that can aspire to be very transformative.

Antenarrative is a bridge between living story and narrative by four pathways: linear-antenarrative, cyclical-antenarrative, spiral-antenarrative, and rhizomatic-antenarrative. Two pathways between living story and narrative, the linear- and cyclic-antenarratives are from past predicted to recur in the future. This is known as conventional and ordinary retrospective sensemaking. The other two pathways are from the future to the past, and this is quite radical. The spiral- and rhizomatic-antenarratives are future-->present and future-->past destining, directionalities futurals, drafts (up or down, in & out, left or right quantum directions), and disclosabilites of quantum materiality in a vitalistic sense of living story. This term we are focusing on Q-spiraling.

Action vs. Intervention Research

AR and IR

There is an important difference between Action Research and Intervention Research. Its our job to sort it out. AR is a bit linear and cyclical, whereas IR is more about researching and intervening in the spiraling and rhizomatic processes of change.

RESTORYING

Our seminar will include methodologies for story research (deconstruction, theme analysis, grand narrative, plot analysis, etc.); will also include story intervention approaches such as “restorying” (defined as collecting the dominant (oppressive) stories of the organization that set up its posture and power, and then intervening to constitute a new story that has liberatory potential (White & Epston, 1990). Here is how Mike Bonifer and I are developing the restorying intervention:

1. CHARACTERIZE the dominant narrative as the problem, not the people as problem. Narrative empties out living stories, in-order-to focus on linear and cyclic-antenarrative recurrence.  
2. EXTERNALIZE  the problem, viewed as separate character from any individual, as an external entity? Mr. Spiral is a strange character in organizations, because we cannot see, hear, touch, taste, or smell spirals, and yet we can use tools and instruments to sense their shape and path-directions.
3. SYMPATHIZE   What benefits does the organization derive from the problem? The benefits of spirals that cannot be accessed by sensemaking is that retrospective narrative is useless.
4. REVISE Disadvantages of the problem, benefits foregone, reasons to change. The negative consequences is one relies on instruments and tools to observe a spiral, even though direct sensemaking can not see, hear, touch, taste, or smell one.
5. STRATEGIZE  Find a “unique outcome” from the past, even a potential, which allowed the organization to defeat the problem in the past; those little wow moments, concealed by the dominant narrative. One little wow moment, for me, is that I have tactile sensing of spiral energy flows. Another is that I can see the instrument measuring spiraling energy currents. I have a storytelling awareness of spiraling even though my own five senses are not always picking up cues.
6. RE-HISTORICIZE   Make the “unique outcome” the rule (instead of the exception) in a 'new' living story of freedom from the dominant-problem-narrative. There are times when I have spiral-awareness of updraft and downdraft environmental flows that cause the spiral to move or at least shutter.
7. PUBLICIZE    Enlist support for the new living story.  Use letters, ceremony, etc. with friends to reinforce 'new' living story web.  What is the evidence of support and interest in the new Q-spiral-antenarrative and environmental-draft? I find some evidence in Heidegger (PLT, 1971, 130) for drafts: "orbit of the whole draft" turns and "parting against the pure draft" (ibid, p. 125). This gets at what I call 'inner -space' of our Being-in-the-world ontological-existence, which in Heidegger (PLT" 130) is "the true interior of the heart's space." I find some evidence in Merleau-Ponty (1962: 244) for the "top and bottom, right and left, near and far" that is not from sensemaking by the five senses. I find some evidence from Deleuze (1994: 21) who says, "Spirals whose principle is a variable curve and the trajectory of which has dissymmetrical aspects as though it had a right and a left."

Deleuze, G. (1994). Difference and Repetition. Translated by Paul Patton from French, 1968 text, Difference et Repetition (Presses Universitaires de France). NY: Columbia University Press.

Class Storytelling Model - There are two kinds of dominant narratives in management practice: what I will call the 'intellectualist' and the 'empirical' narratives, after Merleau-Ponty (1962). He does not develop a narrative perspective. This is something we as a class will take up as a semester project. I have integrated some Heidegger (1962) framing of epistemic-ontic-ontological with it, but understand the classifications have their differences. These are in antenarrative transformative relationship to the ontological 'living story' (Boje, 2001, 2011). An antenarrative is about what is 'before' and the 'bet of transformation' between our dominant narratives and living story ontology. For Merleau-Ponty and Heidegger, what I am calling living story ontology is primordial, antecedes the subject-object duality of intellectualist/epistemic and empiricist/ontic.

We will be looking a materiality-narratives, and try to develop an epistemic-ontological understanding that Strand (2011, 2012) calls 'material storytelling' something deeply rooted in Barad-Bohr-Boje-Bergson.

My own interpretation of what I call 'quantum storytelling' is rooted more in Heisenberg, rather than Bohr, or so I am told when reading Strand's (2012) dissertation. And much of what I want to sort out this term will get us ready for the 2nd Annual Quantum Storytelling Conference to be held at Inn of the Arts, Las Cruces New Mexico, December 16-18 2012. Please submit something.

The Storytelling Model for this course

Figure 1 - The Antenarrative Bridging among Two Dominant Narratives and Ontological Living Story (drawing by D. M. Boje, August 23, 2012; see Boje, 2014 book).

Intellectualist Narratives: Within this overall field of storytelling, there are many historical kinds of narratives. For example, intellectualist narrative includes Weick's (1995) retrospective sensemaking narrative, the tacit knowledge narrative (Polanyi, 1966), much older structuralist approaches, Russian formalism (in several forms), as well as new poststructuralist narrative work, the classical Aristotelian Poetics (Aristotle, 350 BCE) six elements (plot, characters, theme, dialog, rhythm, & spectacle), Kantian transcendental narrative, and its more recent Burkean reformulation into the pentad (act, actor, purpose, action, & scene) where action combines dialog and rhythm.

Empiricist Narratives: The empiricist narratives tend to spatialize time and to objectify living stories into an abstract space, one where the body is objectified. Instead of embodied living story, through measurement and calculation there is a presumption that an objectified world is being narrated. This spatialized time is itself a loss of spacetime. Linear-antenarratives such as, PERT (Programmed Evaluation & Review Technique) and various Cyclic-antenarratives, such as product life cycle, organizational life cycle are among the most popular managerial practices.

PERT Antenarrative

Figure 2 - PERT (Programmed Evaluation & Review Technique), a common linear-antenarrative popular in management practice

Above is a PERT diagram, of the times to complete the task activities connecting A to C. One calculates a critical path as the longest duration, which is A-B-E-C, which totals to 7 units, whereas the alternative paths total 5 units each. This is the intellectualist (rationalist & geometrical) linear narrative of beginning, middle, to end (BME narrative), that is commonplace in strategy narratives.

There are many linear-antenarratives that transform between a geometric narrative (intellectualist) and a mathematical calculation narrative (empiricist). The elevator pitch is a simple example, what Steve Denning calls 'springboard' [narrative.] It is told in under two minutes, the time of an elevator ride, and has the plot of a beginning, middle, and end. It is what Tom Peters once called the stump speech (an elevator pitch the CEO could tell as a tersely-told narrative in 90 seconds).

These linear sorts of narratives are typical within empiricist-narratives; some are called material-, mechanistic-, and explicit-knowledge-narratives, and are used to conform behavior (behaviorist-narrative).

Linear-antenarratives and rhizomatic-antnearratives is something important to understand. There are four kinds of lines in Deleuze and Guattari (1987: pp. 222-3, 505) 1. Supple Line of interlaced codes and territories is a social space constituted by territorial and linear segmentation 2. Rigid Line of empire, reterritorializing, such as in rigid concentric circles, making spaces into territories by an overcoded geometrical space where some abstract machine operates 3. Lines of Flight -  marked by quanta and decoding and deterritorialization of war machine. 4. Rhizome - the complexes of lines, of nomadic multiplicities or transformational multiplicities. In my approach to storytelling linear-antenarratives and rhizomatic-antenarratives make different transformative bridging (linear between the two narratives, and rhizomatic between empiricist-narrative and ontological living story) - see figure 1.

One can add that the materiality-narratives (such as Marxian historical materialism) and Newtonian materialism are a loss of spacetimemattering. In order to develop what Strand calls 'material storytelling' fashioned on a Bergsonian reading of Boje, plus a Bohr privileged reading of quantum, Heisenberg is turned into an epistemic narratologist. I will be looking closely at Heisenberg, to reclaim his more ontological standpoint, as the basis for what I call 'quantum storytelling' which is probable best thought of as at the very center of the model in Figure 1, and not reducible to empiricist or intellectualist narrative, nor to living story ontology. Quantum storytelling, for me, is something that includes antenarrative intra-activity among the entire storytelling field.

 

 

Cyclic Antenarrative

Figure 3- Cyclic-Antenarrative, common in management practice

Equally popular are various cyclical-antenarratives transforming the relationship between intellectualist and empiricist narratives. Examples include product life cycle, organizational life cycle, market life cycle, leadership strategy cycle, etc. Each is a stage by stage sequence, and the antenarrative transformative connection is how the past is expected to recur in these exact same stages into the present and the future. The organizational life cycle for example begins with concepts like birth, then goes to growth, maturation, decline, revitalization, and back to (re)birth. The problem with cyclic-antenarratives that would bridge the intellectualist and empiricist narratives is that the subject-object split is not able to get beyond its duality to look at pre-subjective, and pro-objective living story ontology. They merely bridge the two dominant narratives (intellectualist & empiricist).

Two other antenarratives are increasingly popular in management practice, because the assumed cyclical rarely works out in management practice: cycles keep accumulating differences, becoming spirals, and the linear paths, keep accumulating multiplicities until they are more accurately recognized as rhizome-antenarrative.

Minahen's (1992) book provides the best definitions of spiral and vortice. The vortex is turbulence, and the spiral is more stable, and there is movement in between them. He defines spiral as "a continuous curve traced by a point moving round a fie xed point in the same plane while steadily increasing (or diminishing_ its distance from this" (p. 149). There is an Archimedian spiral, such as a coil of rope, or whorl of tomato plant, or threads on a bolt, where the distance interval between one whorl and the next is the same. There is a more logarithmic spiral where whorl to whorl differences accumulate (amplifying or contracting). Finally there are more irregular spirals, such as spiral galaxies (barred spirals with trailing arms). There are two-dimensional (flat) spirals, and three-dimensional spiral, such as the helix of increasing or decreasing circular movement between center and circumference (p. 156). The vortex is all about turbulence, defined "by one source as 'randomly distributed vorticity' " (p. 157). I am exploring the double vortice, with an upper centrifugal ascent and a lower centripetal descent, connecting this to Heidegger's drafts (see Quantum Storytelling film).

Rhizome comes from Deleuze and Guattari (1987) and is an interplay between two kinds of space (smooth & striated), and the lines of flight and transformation trajectories between them in practices of territorialization, deterritorialization, and reterritorialization (see pp. 505-6).

In particular, the spiral-antenarrative which bridges intellectual narrative and living story ontology, and the rhizomatic-antenarrative which bridges the empiricist narrative and living story ontology.

But what is environment? What is spiraling?

Spiral Storytelling and Environment

Figure 4: Q-Spiral with upward (Gold) and downward (Blue) spiraling, at a choice point (+) between paths (dotted Red lines), as updrafts and downdrafts (Silver) buffet spiral-whorls, in an Environment defined by three dimensions: Performance (aka Materialscape), Timescape, and Landscape (drawing by D. M. Boje, July 18, 2012).