Organizational Dynamics gave me a framework for being a consultant, but it also provided me with a deeper understanding of how we – people and organizations – are all “the stories we tell.” Through Janet Greco’s “Stories in Organizations” class, I came to understand the power of how we see and communicate about ourselves in the world. The impact of how we shape our stories came alive in a sociology class on “managing diversity.” Even numbers, I discovered in a class about forecasting, require a narrative for people to make sense of them. Larry Starr’s class “Pro-Seminar on Consulting” helped me see how various practitioners adapt this storytelling construct to define their own approaches and methodologies, and gave me the permission to be the author of my own, too. Today, my work is focused on co-creating stories that support the dreams and aspirations of entrepreneurs, organizational leaders and other people who want to create value in their world.
If all college experiences are defined as “transformational,” the Organizational Dynamics experience has supported my life in ways that exceed what I ever imagined possible for myself. I found my voice, shaped my stories, gained skills in new disciplines, and found colleagues that continue to inspire and support me. I also emerged better prepared to contribute to today’s world armed with a tool kit for problem solving that honors the value of diverse perspectives, collaborative processes, and the systems – big and small – that are at play all around us.
– Sharlene Sones