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02 An alternative approach: organization... > Belief in the place and power of sto... - Pg. 28

28 Understanding Conversational Approaches to Change encoded by it. This makes language and conversation an important source of organizational change and renewal. Belief in the place and power of stories in organizational life One of the things we use language for is to create accounts of our lives and our world. We tell stories about ourselves to ourselves, and to each other. Organizations also tell stories about themselves. Stories that the organiza- tion tells about itself hold behaviour patterns in place. Behaviour makes sense in the context of the stories about how things are and so what it is sensible to do. For different behaviour to `make sense' the stories about life must themselves be different. In this way the stories an organization tells about itself are key to its potential for change. However, organizational stories are not always readily accessible to the organization, being embedded in complex patterns of behaviour and belief. To make them accessible requires particular skills in both inquiry and conversation, both of which we examine in more detail throughout the later parts of this book. Once they become accessible, however, through being told, they can change and