Archive for 2013

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Writing oral stories

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 25, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling, Communication

When you see a poem you know it’s a poem. When you see a screenplay you know it’s a screenplay. Most people, however, have never seen an oral story written down. Probably because it’s an oxymoron. Yet there are times when it’s useful to write an oral story down. For example, when you’re helping a […]

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Dynamic tension and team success

Posted by  Mark Schenk —May 22, 2013
Filed in Anecdotes, Business storytelling, Leadership Posts

Earlier this week Shawn sent me an email. “You must see Steve Jobs: The Lost interview. It’s available on iTunes” (its the movie, not the radio show). So, naturally I downloaded it and am halfway through it. It’s riveting. Jobs answers nearly every question with a story. When the interviewer talks about developing the first […]

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Don’t send your strategic story to sea on the Titanic

Posted by  Mark Schenk —May 1, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling, Strategy

We help lots of organisations turn their strategies into memorable and concrete strategic stories. In doing so, a key factor is ensuring its not a ‘Pollyanna’ story’. You know the ones…everything is upbeat, previous successes are emphasised, failures are not mentioned. Theses stories might be politically correct but risk being viewed as inauthentic or not […]

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The world’s best business story practitioners

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

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with some terrific business story practitioners. And because we love to know who are the really great story folk in our region, I thought I’d share who I think are the best story practitioners who are great to work with in the world today […]

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Pulling the strategy together with a story

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —April 25, 2013
Filed in Strategy

Last week I flew to Vienna to help a pharmaceutical company develop their strategy. It was a two day event. We used the first day to explore their current situation and past by, among other things, creating a massive visual history across one wall. We delved into the important events that have shaped them and […]

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Victim or player?

Posted by  Mark Schenk —April 15, 2013
Filed in Leadership Posts

I had a meeting on Friday with a senior leader facing a common problem. There are many changes going on and his people have developed the view that ‘head office doesn’t know anything about what we do and their restructures don’t make sense’ along other related non-productive views. He wants his team on the front […]

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Helping Big Data Scientists be Storytellers

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —April 5, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling

We’ve said often on this blog that you just don’t get the benefits of storytelling (meaning, memory, caring) unless you are telling a story. Over at the HBR blog last week Jeff Bladt and Bob Filbin from DoSomething.org wrote a piece entitled A Data Scientist’s Real Job: Storytelling. Their point was simple. Data on its own is […]

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The Role of Storytelling in Government

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —April 4, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling, Strategy

  “Government managers secure the resources they need to operate not by selling products and services to individual customers, but by selling a story of public value creation to elected representatives of the people in legislatures and executive branch positions.”1 Private sector leaders have it easy: they sell their products, they generate revenue, they manage […]

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Family narratives

Posted by  Mark Schenk —March 26, 2013
Filed in Communication, Fun

At Christmas, I was in Melbourne with my two kids. All my family live there and I needed to do what I could to ensure there was no disharmony or feelings of favouritism. So I applied Shawn’s guiding principle in these matters: ‘Families are like fish. After three days they start to go off’. So […]

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Tapping into identity to drive change

Posted by  Kevin Bishop —March 22, 2013
Filed in Communication

James March, Professor of Political Science at Stanford argues that when we make choices, we tend to rely on one of two basic models for decision making: the consequences model or the identity model.(*1) In the consequence model, when we have a decision to make we weigh the costs and benefits and make the choice […]

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