PNI project stories

Community market planning

The board of a community market listened to its customers to find out why they keep coming back. They used the stories they gathered to plan their strategy for keeping the market going strong.

Hospital employee satisfaction

A hospital wanted to find out why its employees stayed or left. They found out that while employees were stressed, they were keen to take on new challenges, as long as they could trust the hospital to provide the support they needed.

Leadership benchmarking

A computer firm helped its executives evaluate their leadership by comparing stories about themselves with stories about other leaders, including historical leaders such as Abraham Lincoln and Helen Keller.

Theft prevention

A police force overturned long-standing assumptions about when, where, and why people steal. Professional thieves, for example, showed strikingly different patterns of activity than did amateurs.

Museum experiences

Museum staff discovered what children found surprising, interesting, and useful about their exhibits. They used what they learned to improve their educational content.

Merging cultures

A big company swallowed a little company. People in both groups shared stories to understand how their two cultures could work together.

Educational attitudes

A government education agency discovered that teachers were more likely than students or parents to assume that a fearful child was not trying hard enough.

Volunteer motivations

A non-governmental organization discovered that a reward that motivated some of its volunteers demotivated others.

Technical know-how

A technical firm incorporated real-life stories into a learning resource that helped employees understand what getting a patent was really like.

Concerned customers

A power company discovered that customers who owned their homes thought differently about utility services than customers who rented.

Work-life balance

Managers at a pharmaceutical firm discovered that their people were overworked because everybody thought everybody else should do more.

Your story here

What would your community or organization like to explore?

Want to learn more about participatory narrative inquiry?

You can read a brief explanation of the field; a longer explanation of the history of PNI (on my blog storycoloredglasses.com); or the full textbook, Working with Stories in Your Community or Organization.