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Embed a new way of thinking with stories

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 11, 2017
Filed in Business storytelling, Culture, Leadership Posts

As I have said before, if you want to change a work culture, you need to change the stories that are told about it. But I’ve never been a fan of the single-story approach to change. Personally, I can’t think of a time when just one amazing story transformed a company. (Some have even gone […]

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Like it or not, stories are shaping your company culture

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —April 28, 2017
Filed in Business storytelling, Culture, Strategy

Gerry Lynch is the general manager of Mars New Zealand, the food and retail business that gives us Mars bars, M&Ms, MasterFoods and Whiskas, to name just a few of their brands. The company, which employs a couple of hundred people, is also a regular finalist in, and winner of, New Zealand’s long-running IBM Kenexa […]

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Don’t try to change someone’s mind, do this instead

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 15, 2017
Filed in Business storytelling, Collaboration, Culture

Last month, The New Yorker published an article called ‘Why facts don’t change our minds’, in which the author, Elizabeth Kolbert, reviews some research showing that even ‘reasonable-seeming people are often totally irrational’. Kolbert’s popular article makes a good case for the idea that if you want to change someone’s mind about something, facts may […]

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Discovering your strategy with a business strategy story

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —February 24, 2017
Filed in Business storytelling, Strategy

Companies often mistake planning for strategy. This seems to be particularly true of large organisations. A few years back, we got a call from a large company headquartered in the Netherlands. Their head of strategy felt that their people didn’t understand the company strategy – a common concern across most big businesses. The strategy group […]

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How to use story skills for great causes

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —February 14, 2017
Filed in Business storytelling, Insight

Since starting Anecdote in 2004, I’ve been lucky to meet a bunch of inspiring people. One of them is Paul Costello, who I’ve written about in my book, Putting Stories to Work. Paul is an amazing story practitioner and has been in the field for decades. He’s an Aussie who moved to America about 20 […]

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Mix science and storytelling: tell stories about experiments

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —December 2, 2016
Filed in Anecdotes, Business storytelling, Selling

Last week I returned to Australia from the US after a three-week business tour. (It was a remarkable time to be there, though my sense is that while emotions are understandably running high over the election result, there is also a feeling that the US system is resilient.) I started the trip in Seattle, working […]

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How to practice storytelling while getting real work done

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —November 17, 2016
Filed in Business storytelling

Twenty years ago, psychologist Anders Ericsson conducted research on what it takes to build expertise. Mere practice is not enough. If practice is all it takes to be great, taxi drivers would be the best drivers in the world. Ericsson discovered it takes a special type of practice to build better skills. He called it […]

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Business storytelling methods for lawyers and law firms

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —October 25, 2016
Filed in Business storytelling, Employee Engagement

Last week I was in London and had the pleasure of catching up with Ian Rodwell from Linklaters, one of the largest law firms in the world and part of the magic circle of elite legal companies headquartered in the British capital. Ian has been a long-term advocate of our work and we spent an […]

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Storytelling for Sales: Canberra 2016

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 12, 2016
Filed in Business storytelling, Events, Selling

I’ve had the pleasure of delivering Storytelling for Sales for companies in Europe, Asia and the US and I just love how sellers quickly work out that it’s those times they tell a story that the sales start to go well. I remember asking a group of sellers in Florida what stories they tell to overcome […]

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Set ground rules for workshops or presentations like a master

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —August 30, 2016
Filed in Anecdotes, Business storytelling

Billy Crystal steps forward on stage, smiles and in that familiar way a relative walks into your house and asks for a cup for tea, Billy says how much he loves Melbourne and launches into his first story (this is how I remember it). “You guys are so good with your cell phones. So respectful. […]

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