with the rest of the people in your organization. After sorting out which is which with your smart-phone, and re-recording the ones that could benefit from a better delivery, you authorize it to pass along the organizational stories into the story management pipeline.
Contributing in this way to your organization’s story management pipeline is a bit more work for you to do, but you can see the value of it each morning as you open your laptop to prepare for the day’s new challenges. For this job, preparation requires practice, so you spend an hour each morning honing your skills with a simulation- based training application. Each morning you are faced with new simulated situations that challenge your abilities, perhaps ones that present you with new problems for negotiating your supply chain contract or ones that introduce new considerations for laying out fresh water filtration systems. After completing each new simulation scenario, you always check to see what real-world story was used as the basis for the fictional situation. What was the lesson learned from real-world experience that made its way into the training application you are using this morning? Usually these scenarios are based on the experiences of people you know from your organization, often told into their smart-phones only days or weeks earlier - just like you had done the night before.
Story-Based Organizational Learning in the Present
Many aspects of this vision of story-based organizational learning in the future, where real-world experiences are captured and transformed into fictional simulation-based learning environments, are already exhibited in the way that some organizations develop new training technologies. In their work to develop immersive training applications for the United States Army, the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California has created a number of prototypes that transform the real-world experiences of U.S. Army soldiers into fictional video and virtual- reality training applications. In the Army Excellence in Leadership project [Hill, 04], real-world stories told by junior U.S. Army officers are fictionalized into Hollywood- style movies, then embedded in a leadership training application that allows trainees to interactively interview characters from the films. In the ICT Leaders project [Gordon, 04], real-world stories collected from U.S. Army captains are translated into decision points in a fictional branching storyline, allowing trainees to practice leadership skills by making decisions through conversations with virtual characters in a game-based simulation. ELECT BiLAT [Hill, 06] is a game-based simulation for soldiers to practice conducting bilateral engagements by negotiating with virtual characters, where scenarios are based on the experiences told to developers during interviews with subject-matter experts.
Although each of these examples targets different training objectives and utilizes different delivery methods, each follows a similar philosophy toward the role of stories in organizational learning. In this context, stories are defined as a genre of discourse where the speaker provides a narrative description and interpretation of causally-related past events. The real-world experiences of members of the U.S. Army, told as stories, are used as the basis for fictional scenarios to be experienced by trainees in multimedia learning environments. As such, these projects might be characterized as an extremely mediated form of traditional storytelling, where the