Next stage: Analysing the data

OK, the interviews are in the can. 7 in all, and I’m really grateful to my colleaugues for participating.

I’ve taken detailed notes from each one, not quite full transcripts but enough for me to have an accurate, unvarnished written record of what was said. I’ve put timecodes at certain points so I know where to look in each audio file to get a direct quote should I need one.

I’m really pleased with the depth and variety of responses I got from my participants. Each interview was slightly different from the previous. This was down mainly to each person having a different set of experiences (so an equal emphasis on the questions wouldn’t have been appropriate) and that I let the conversations flow as much as I could. The wording of my questions was slightly different for each person as well but my initial take is that I managed to get comparable answers from everyone.

The next task is to identify the main themes. Guy’s advice was to start by creating a long list of possible themes and then progressively narrowing down to the definitive list.

I’m going to create a matrix with 5 main topic areas;

  • Nature of storytelling
  • Benefits within an organisation
  • Disbenefits
  • Team and personal development
  • Organisational conditions

…then cut and paste the relevant responses from each of the participants. I may even do this using paper, scissors and glue. There’s going to be a lot of info and a laptop screen may not be enough.

Straight out of the blocks, the thing which has interested me most about the responses was the lack of emphasis on technical skills and technologies. People mostly talked about storytelling and a great deal of that was about the organisational culture needing to be one that encourages openness. There’s an inherent vulnerability to being a storyteller and the conditions have to be right for that to these approaches to flourish it seems.

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