CAN STORYTELLING SAVE THE WORLD?
—— A good story has the power to change everything: humankind, the world—and possibly even the topic of sustainability. Three examples of the impact storytelling can have.
One hundred and fifty people. That at least is the maximum capacity of social contacts that the human brain can process, according to British anthropologist Robin Dunbar. Up to this number of people, you can remember who each group member is, where you know them from and what they do. Furthermore, maintaining relationships becomes difficult with larger groups, and the likelihood that members support each other also decreases. In addition, identification with a common goal becomes watered down in groups of more than 150 people.
In corporations with several thousand employees, business units should thus not be much larger than 150 people. In turn, different team sizes apply for groups within these units—depending on the respective goals. However, research shows that in groups of more than five or six people, the “Ringelmann effect” begins to set in: the performance of the individual group members no longer grows in proportion to the group size but instead decreases; members whose personal contribution can no longer be identified begin to slack off—while others compensate and work harder.