After writing about stories, and seeing a description of Seth
Godin’s “tiny white board seminar”
, I had an idea: 

Could a professional conference be more effective if it were
constructed as a series of stories created by small groups?

Imagine this.  

Instead of sitting in a room with someone behind a podium referring to a
list of bullet points, you’re sitting in one of several small groups actively
trying to solve a problem or take advantage of a market opportunity.

Instead of being part of the audience that watches a collection of speakers,
you’re actively participating in a group. Those speakers are, instead, moderators who participate as team members
and interject their expertise.  

Everyone meets at the beginning as one large group. The conference leader introduces the theme of
the conference and the interrelated individual issues that each small group
will tackle.

Each group moves into a room with 10-15 people, one of the moderators,
and a whiteboard (chairs are optional – but conference tables are not allowed
and neither is PowerPoint!).  

What’s your assignment? You have
to write a story – the story of how the issue you’re group owns could be
successfully navigated. Who are the
players? How would they interact? What are the major plot points? How does it

At the end of the day the groups come together again and each group
tells its story. If they’re adventurous,
they could even act it out!  

The larger group considers each story. Where is it strong? Where could
it use more work? Was there anything
left out? Does hearing this story impact
your group’s story? How? What can you do to take each story a step

Are there issues you’re dealing with that could benefit by
repeating this process with your colleagues?

You’d learn about a topic, but you’d also learn a creative way to
formulate a strategy and, through your story, communicate it to a larger

I’d go!

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