True Storytelling’s Ensemble-Hero’s Journey

Grace Ann Rosile Riding Bella. Grace Ann is a

True Storytelling pioneer in

Ensemble Storytelling and

Ensemble Leaderhip

Going Beyond

Embodied Reflection (Principle 7) includes the process of the Beyond Heart. It’s the Ensemble-Hero’s Journey into Together Telling in our Organizing Developing Chaning 2.0 Module.

Grace Ann

She knows how to do Ensemble Storytelling

By being in partnership with other species, she embodies a relationship with Bella. Working together, Being in Diversity is requisite to Ensemble Leadership and Ensemble Storytelling we do at

True Storytelling Institute’ modules

Learn more about our

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 2.0 Module

Then learn why DEI 2.0 is requisite to changing the Sustainaibility Theater

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6th Sense of HorseSense

Going into the BEYOND-Heart is a quest. It is going BENEATH the usual Sustainability Theater of Greenwashing (a kind of fake storytelling), Bluewashing (the truth of fresh water), & Whitewashing how humans treat other animals. This horse is named Nahdion. He looks at us in the mirror, and our Sustainability Theater.

By doing Ensemble Storytelling with a base of Ensemble Leadership training, we can embark on a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. It makes the SINGLE LOOP FRACTAL, usually an over-extended Branching Fractal, obsolete, because we embrace a new fractal model (and there are many others than simple branching and sub-branching to choose from.

Branching Fractal Example of College of Business

Above is a branching fractal I worked in at a university for 22 years, and its still doing that SINGLE LOOPING of merging departments, splitting them into sub-units that become departments, then merging some of them back together. It is a recurring pattern of not only branching, but an obsession with command and control chains of command. The command chain and branching are not bad in and of themselves, and often, quite useful, but when its the only loop it does not make for an agile, adaptive system that can effectively cope with today’s world.

One of the many fractal pattern alternatives an Ensemble of Heroes can choose as their new model is called the Mandelbrot Fractal. The term fractal was invented by Benoit B. Mandelbrot (20 November 1924 – 14 October 2010) a Polish-born French-American mathematician who developed a viable alternative to Euclidean geometry, which he applied to problems: how to measure coastlines of the UK and elsewhere, and how to understand self-similar patterns of day to month to year that keep recurring in financial markets.

True Storytelling is not an egoistic-Hero’s Journey. This is a journey of the entire ensemble into the BEYOND-Heart to find a different fractal pattern of Organizing, Developing, and Changing from 1.0 (single loop) command/branching system fractality to 2.0 (double loop) open systems fractality.

The Ensemble-Hero’s-Journey begins by going BENEATH the labels we assign one another in organizations, our communities, and our societies. We travel to the BEFORE to recover the true storytelling depths of history, carefully recovering all but forgotten ‘Little Wow Moments’ (LWMs) that are exceptions to the usual Single Loop that tries to be all the loops.

The journey BENEATH the labeling others, the dualities that causes, the right versus wrong game playing, is where the journey starts. Yes, we make mistakes in SINGLE LOOP LEARNING, and by reflecting upon them, we learn to embrace the DOUBLE LOOP.

The double loop is an Open Systems notion, about joining the BEFORE and the BETS in the BEING. It means dealing with a Threshold in our Ensemble-Hero’s-Journey. Double loop is two becomings, one is retrospective sensemaking, and the other becoming is prospective sensemaking.

In DOUBLE LOOP LEARNING, we enter our BEING-in-the-world together, and ‘We’ gain experience together as an Ensemble, in what we call in quantum storytelling, the inseparability and entanglement of SpaceTimeMattering. You see while Timing is Important (Principle 4 of True Storytelling), understanding the spatial fractal mattering and the mattering fractal patterning in inseparability of SpaceTimeMattering fractality, that keeps moving, at all scales from microcosmos to macrocosmos, with us in the middle, is what True Storytelling is all about.

In making the quest to the BEYOND, to embodied Principle 7: Reflect in our embodiment, we entertain the possiblity of the Third Loop, that was there all along, but too atrophied to stand in balance to First and Second Loops. At each stage of the journey we encounter Threshold in the Fractal Patterns. This is why ODC 2.0 issuch an important process of transformation.

In the early phases of the journey, we tackle the Single Loop with compassion and forecaring, because we need a healthy Single Loop to join with a Healthy Second Loop to be Double Loop of retrospective-prospective sensemaking. Yin and Yang together.

The Third Loop is a special principle and process, with its own tools to use on the journey. We encounter a threshold of No Return, a kind of fractal forecaring that once experienced, you just feel incomplete in just Double Loop.

This Triple Loop Fractal Threshold is what True Storytelling training is all about. It may not be for your organization. Your organization, like many we work in throughout the world, may never be ready and prepared for that journey.

You see the BEYOND Heart is a place for working through episodes of Single Loop Conflict.

Boje’s mentor, Louis R. Pondy, introduced him to how the single Loop conflict. Pondy trained in physics and wanting to go beyond Open Systems (double loop), understood later in life as a very destructive fractal.

True Storytelling Institute’s training modules, have tools to get out of the Single Loop of ever-escalating conflict with a process that adds a Deescalating-Conflict-Loop. This is still double loop, and not BEYOND open system. These blog posts give an overview of these tools.

Triple Loop requires a special tool we call SAFETY-TRUST-TRUTH-OPPORTUNITY tool. It was developed by Ken Long, a graduate of our Level II, Train The Trainers Certificate program. Here is a short video and a way to use the tool with Nominal Group Technique (NGT). We use the STTO tool in our True Storytelling Circle meetings, so people have a sacred story space of listening, instead of debating, interrupting, and so on.

Ken Long’s NGT video, and the spreadsheet to calculate NGT rankings.

By doing the training in True Storytelling STTO, the meetings start to transform on their own, to what we call a spiral fractal. Recurring cycles transform, into generators of opporunities.

For this to work, it nees lots of process work. Another tool we used is called ICEND Interactive Communicative Experiential Networking Developing. It uses NGT or the Talking Stick Circles tools, and storyboarding the Tamara-Land, the ongoing Networking between rooms by passageways of every organization that has more than one room, more than one building, more than one location. This networking is in the BEFORE (Principle 2: already there) with a deep history (below surface history) where the Little Wow Moments (LWMs) are buried-treasures, if you quest to find them.


ICEND is part of the exploration of four kinds of fractals that are overwhelming all organizations trying to figure out the chaos of competing standards proliferating in the world today. Tetra means four. Tetranormalizing is generating new norms of ethics, from the ground up, instead of from top-down.

Most of these standards conflict with one another, leaving each organization to set out on a True Performance journey, all on their own.

Many of the standards (17 UN SDG, ISO 24000, for example, are just guidelines, and voluntary, so the temptation is to cheat the standards, ignore, or deny them in what we call Sustainability Theater that keeps the greenwashing, bluewashing, and whitewashing as most common practices.

For more on this Butterfly of Four Fractals overwhelming business, education, government, and NGOs today, please check out: Boje, D. M. (2015). Organizational Change and Global Standardization: Solutions to Standards and Norms Overwhelming Organizations. London/NY: Routledge (Taylor & Francis).

Our solution to the overwhelm of standards is True Storytelling training in ethical accountability, answerability, and responsibility so there really can be corporate ecological and social responsibility in the world. We work through cases in which this has happened.

ICEND is transorganizational development (TD), the networking of many organizations. TD is already happening, but much of it does not get beyond Single Loop to Double Loop, and hardly any, are doing Triple Loop that changes the Sustainability Theater of greenwashing, bluewashing, and whitewashing needed to actually implement UN SDG, and make them standards normalized practices and processes.

It takes all Three Loops, in healthy synthesis for Sustainability Theater to actually become True Storytelling instead of Fake Storytelling.

The BEYOND Heart Quest

The challenge for True Storytelling questers is to go BENEATH the labeling (us vs. them) and the materialistic values (such labeling enables), all the individual EGO goals who don’t know how to work together, and enter the 2nd loop of Balancing retrospective-prospective sensemaking. This brings us to the threshold barrier that Buckminster Fuller foresaw. It will take a shift in consciousness for together-listening and together-telling processes to carry us through this threshold barrier.

Becoming in the Double Loop affords lessons in the deeper understanding and fore caring for diversity, equity and inclusion, not just of human beings, but all being on the planet.

TD-ICEND is a way of developing transorganizational networking (TD) locally and in double loops processes of open systems. The 3rd Loop threshold means pulling back the curtain on Sustainability Theater. Try your lock on the TDGameboard.  

CLICK HERE FOR TD Gameboard. You can explore 16 approaches to training and consulting, and make your choice.

We have been exploring how to move from #13 Spectacle Theatre with #12 Transorganization Development (TD) and #15 Chisholm’s Network Organizations. One of our favorites, is #4, for it was Henri Savall who opened our eyes (Grace Ann & David) to how every organization has its own theatre script, with many script-editors, directors, with actors on stage, and actors wanting to get on stage. We look to #14, to the Postmodern Theater, where we keep developing Tamara-Land in all its fractality.

In True Storytelling Institute’s Sustainability Theater module you will learn how to deconstruct the triple bottom, with a series of cases, so the Single Loop of Profit-bottom-line does not dominate the bottom lines of People and Planet.

Here is a case example of ICEND inclusivity, how to listen with problem-based learning in our sustainability storytelling, and another one going beyond modern day slavery practices in the growing of our food that actually uses Sustainability Theater to change the practices of 17 corporations.

Mogens Sparre and Boje, David M. (2020). Utilizing Participative Action Research With Storytelling Interventions to Create Sustainability in Danish Farming. To appear in Organizational Development Journal. Click here for pre-press pdf.

Jørgensen, Kenneth Mølbjerg; Boje, David M. Storytelling Sustainability in Problem-Based
Learning. Chapter to appear. Click here for pre-press pdf.

Rosile, Grace Ann; Boje, David M; Herder Richard A.; Sanchez, Mabel. (2021). The Coalition of Immokalee Workers Uses Ensemble Storytelling Processes to Overcome Enslavement in Corporate Supply Chains. Business and Society. Business & Society, Vol. 60(2) 376–414. Click here fore pre-press pdf.

Next we deconstruct the common framework of Circular Economy to show how it is missing the big picture.

Boje, David M.; Jorgensen, Kenneth Mølbjerg. (2020). A ‘storytelling science’ approach making the eco-business modeling turn. Journal of Business Modeling, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 8-25. Click here for pre-press pdfPlease Click here for final print version PDF

Boje, David M.; Rana, Mohammad B. (2020). Defining a Sustainably-Driven Business Modeling Strategy with a ‘Storytelling Science’ Approach. Chapter to appear in Markovic, S., Sancha, C. and Lindgreen, A. (Eds.), Handbook of Sustainability-driven Business Strategies in Practice, Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar. Click here for pre-press pdf.

These are cases in which Triple Loop becomes possible in Sustainability Theater because, as Buckminster Fuller puts it, we bring a better model on stage.

It is time for Ensemble Storytelling, for Ensemble Leadership, and the doing TD-ICEND to change sustaainability theater. Biodiversity is important to the life of all species. A consciousness shift is required.

For more information, please contact our main website,

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