Basics of Narrative Organisational Development


Further Education with university certificate

Organisations are narrative systems 

Narratives (i.e. imprints and thought processes in the form of stories) are underlying many communicational acts as well as the way employees and managers think and behave. Therefore, if you really want to understand an organisation and create lasting changes, you need to be aware of the stories circulating in the company and be able to work with them. This is the key to planning effective interventions and working on an organisation’s identity, internal and external communication, the creation of meaning, the leadership culture, employee motivation and change processes.

Training on a scientific basis

As results of narrative psychology and brain research suggest, people use narrative structures (stories) to understand meaning, identity, processes, strategies, visions etc. and make them comprehensible as well.

The training course „Basics of Narrative Organizational Development“ enables consultants and organisational developers to work with these basic narrative principles of an organization.

„A narrative organisation can make the hidden visible, put knowledge to use and discover new possibilities for action.“

Based on a systemic approach, the fundamental attitude of narrative thinking and working as well as narrative methods are presented in all essential contexts of organisational consulting – from coaching to development and change processes.

Narrative organizational development – a consulting field with a future

For about 15 years, companies have been exploring storytelling for their communication. Currently they are making another discovery: the importance of stories for organizational development and for a company’s viability and survival. Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller, for example, studies „narrative economics“ (as per the title of his book from 2020) and economic sociologist Jens Beckert, Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, emphasises the importance of future stories for the competitiveness of companies. Therefore, a great demand for narrative organisational consultants and developers who work on a systemic basis is to be expected in the next few years.

Practical training with university certificate

The training will consist of 11 digital zoom sessions (4 hours each). Its successful completion is confirmed by a certificate from the Media University Stuttgart.

We see the training course as a „storylab“: All contents are taught in a practical way and can immediately be integrated into the participants‘ concrete field of work.

Target group

The target group of the seminar includes consultants for organisations and management, organisational developers (internal and external), HR professionals and managers.

The course:

The course consists of 11 mandatory digital sessions (4-6 hours each). Its successful completion is confirmed by the certificate „Basics of Narrative Organizational Development“ issued by the Stuttgart Media University. To obtain the certificate, the 8 core sessions as well as three out of the six optional sessions must be attended.

This training course imparts the background, basic knowledge and tools for narrative work. In order to provide insight into the narrative dimension of companies, the influence of narrative structures, stories and the use of narratives will be explained and deepened by individual and group exercises. Meaning, values, knowledge, identity as well as communication are the main fields of narrative work. Using a hands-on approach, we will introduce participants to the application of Storytelling, Storylistening, Storydoing and Story-Co-Creation.

Covered subjects and schedule in detail:

Session 1: Check in

12. März 2021

Entering the narrative world: Introduction in the world of stories: What is a story? What is the basic narrative attitude and the narrative organisation? Facilitators: Christine Erlach & Michael Müller. Time: 12 – 6 pm

Session 2: Roles

26. März 2021

Roles in narrative organisational development: leadership, consultations and relationship dynamics. Clarification of the assignment and development of change story. Facilitators: Jac­­­ques Chlopczyk & Michael Müller. Time: 2 – 6 pm

Session 3: Story-Listening

16. April 2021

Learning how to use a Story Board to tell the team-story. Get to know the Storytelling-Circle and Metaphor work. Facilitators: Christine Erlach & Michael Müller. Time: 2 – 6 pm

Optional: Story-Listening #2

30. April 2021

The Event Curve, Story Space and Story Storming. Facilitators: Christine Erlach & Michael Müller. Time: 2 – 6 pm  

Optional: Change in the Storytelling Organization

21. Mai 2021

Framing change in organisations and Narrative change dramaturgies. Facilitator: Jacques Chlopczyk. Time: 2 – 6 pm

Session 4: Narrative Timelines

11. Juni 2021

Learn to work with Narrative Timelines between Landscape of Action & Landscape of Identity. Facilitators: Wolfgang Tonninger & Christine Erlach. Time: 2 – 6 pm  

Optional: Narrative Coaching

2. Juli 2021

What is coaching? Learn the narrative spin in 1:1 settings and work with the narrative landscape. Get a first glance at Externalising conversations. Facilitator: Wolfgang Tonninger. Time: 2 – 6 pm

Session 5: Storytelling

24. September 2021

Narrative visions, Narrative strategies and the future story. Facilitators: Christine Erlach & Michael Müller. Time: 2 – 6 pm

Optional: How to enter a story?

29. Oktober 2021

The 1001 facts to consider to enter a story. Learn about Characters, roles and contexts. Shape a story and create an identity. Facilitator: Wolfgang Tonninger. Time: 2 – 6 pm.  

Optional: Group moderation

19. November 2021

Working with stories in a group moderation. Stories as process partners for working with groups. Narrative frames as planning tools for workshops. Narrative methods and story tools for workshops. Facilitator: Jacques Chlopczyk. Time: 2 – 6 pm  

Session 6: Story Co-Creation

14. Januar 2022

Learn how to develope the core story in teams. Facilitator: Christine Erlach & Michael Müller. Time: 2 – 6 pm

Optional: Narrative Toolbox

28. Januar 2022

Telling stories backwards. Get to know the Story-Cloud, the Actantial model and the Story-Circle. Faciclitators: Christine Erlach & Michael Müller. Time: 2 – 6 pm.

Session 7: Story-Doing

11. Februar 2022

Ways to re-author organisations Facilitators: Jacques Chlopczyk, Christine Erlach, Michael Müller, Wolfgang Tonninger. Time: 12 – 6 pm

Session 8: End

18. Februar 2022

Closing & celebration with Christine Erlach & Michael Müller. Time: 2 – 4 pm

To receive the full certificate “Narrative Organisational Development”, there will be a Masterclass by Christine Erlach & Michael Müller – contact us for more information.

Price for the whole training “Basics of Narrative Organizational Development” (11 modules):

  • 2.490 € Regular
  • 1.990 € Corona-Price
  • 1.290 € scholarship – we offer a limited number of sponsored tickets – please contact us, if you cannot afford the “Corona-Price”.

Price for a singular session (out of the options):

  • 249 € Regular
  • 199 € for participants



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