Archive for 2013


7 practical business storytelling tips

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 1, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling

The art of business storytelling is all about practice. Here are seven practical things you can do to improve your business storytelling. Never mention the ‘s’ word, as in ‘I have a story I would like to share …’ Instead, just launch into the story, starting with a sentence that helps people understand why they […]

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How business stories emerge and become good ones to tell

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —August 28, 2013
Filed in Anecdotes, Business storytelling

Ric Holland is the CEO of Melbourne City Mission. MCM has a long history in Melbourne being established at the time of the gold rush in the 1800s. The enormous influx of people to Melbourne back then created unprecedented homelessness and MCM was created to help people find a place to live. Fighting homelessness is […]

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3 places to find great storytelling for business examples

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —August 23, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling

Yesterday my sister called and said, “I have an idea for a book you should write. Why don’t you collect a bunch of stories that illustrate different leadership challenges and publish them for leaders to retell.” Good idea sis. We all need a repertoire of stories to tell and they are never easy to find […]

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Releasing Insight in your organisation through the power of story

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —August 12, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling

In September 2011, Gary Klein, Patrick Lambe and I ran a workshop in Singapore exploring how insight and story work together to release insight in an organisation. This was part of a process Gary was taking to help develop his new book which is all about insight, which was published this month. Highly recommended. As […]

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Stories don’t need conflict and resolution, or a hero for that matter

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 30, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling

It seems that everyone is giving advice about stories and storytelling these days. And it irks me every time I hear a story ‘expert’ say that a story must have conflict and resolution. Really? Take this morning’s offering from, which lists 5 reasons to use stories. Number 2 says, Stories have conflict and resolution. […]

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A simple way to embed your values with stories

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 29, 2013
Filed in Communication

What do your organisational values actually mean? Do you have a list of 4, 5, 6 one-word, abstract concepts such as integrity, responsive and agile that represent your values? You might even have a few paragraphs describing each value. Most organisations I’ve worked with have something similar and it hasn’t helped them that much. These […]

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How to get all your executive team on the same page with your strategy

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 24, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling, Leadership, Strategy

Have you ever had that feeling that your executive team is all saying they understand and support the strategy but you sense that they are not really on the same page? This is a common occurrence and it becomes starkly apparent when we are helping a company translate their strategy to a story everyone can […]

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The analogy story and Tim Costello

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 8, 2013
Filed in Anecdotes, Business storytelling

I’ve recently had the pleasure working with World Vision Australia. In case you don’t know them, they’re Australia’s largest charity and they focus on child and community well-being across the world. You might have sponsored a child through World Vision. A few weeks ago I caught up with their CEO, Tim Costello, and I was […]

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Are your leaders foxes or hedgehogs?

Posted by  Mark Schenk —June 17, 2013
Filed in Collaboration, Leadership

The media and business worlds love experts with strong opinions and the ability to explain them confidently and authoritatively. We hear them on TV and read them in newspapers and online every day. Yet a 20-year study shows that these are the very people who are least likely to be accurate in predicting what will […]

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A strategic story mustn’t be a script

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —June 6, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling, Strategy

Smart people hate to be told what to do or say. Yet way too often leaders are given a standard set of powerpoint slides or even a script and are asked to share these pearls with their colleagues. Enthusiasm, and authenticity, plummets. There’s definitely a better way. A few months ago I was teaching 150 […]

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