Author Archive


The best way to improve your storytelling is with feedback

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 2, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

Last week we had a fun online event with our business partners. Using Soundcloud a bunch of us recorded a story or two and shared it with the group. Then we gave each other feedback on our stories. We used the hashtag #storytelling4leaders in case you’re interested in listening to some of the tales. Here’s one […]

Read More

How to trigger the retelling of foundation stories

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —August 14, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

Every organisation, big or small, needs a foundation story that illustrates what’s important to them, what they stand for. But it’s important to remember that foundation stories are not time lines. They are pivotal moments that shape culture. I was reminded of this on a recent trip to the capital of Mexico, where I came […]

Read More

Anecdote turns 10

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —August 11, 2014
Filed in News

10 years ago on this date I wandered into the registration office to register Anecdote as a new business with the view that we could use story techniques to bring more humanity back into the workplace. My long-term business partner and dear friend Mark joined soon after and in those early days our customers were […]

Read More

2 simple ways to help you remember a business story

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 17, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

Imagine you’re in a meeting and one of your colleagues makes the bold statement, ‘We need a big initiative here. It’s really the only way to have an impact’. Now, you know that small initiatives can also spark big changes, but just disagreeing with your colleague is unlikely to change their mind, or anyone else’s. […]

Read More

How an Indian hotel chain turned their customer satisfaction around using stories

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 15, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

Two years ago Mark and I flew to New Delhi to run a public Storytelling for Leaders program. This public program was an extended version because we combined a day on business storytelling with a day of what we call story-listening, that is, collecting stories in an organisation and using them to instigate culture change. […]

Read More

A business story – take responsibility

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 3, 2014
Filed in Anecdotes, Business storytelling

Business stories don’t need to be fancy. They should be told just like you would tell it if you were catching up with a colleague informally. I would tell this one when chatting to senior leaders about how they can model the behaviour they want–in fact they must. Or it would be good as an […]

Read More

One way to make your stories even more meaningful

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 1, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

Sometimes it’s a good idea to finish a story so that the audience has to put some pieces together to get what the story is about. When someone puts some work in understanding a story they own it and it’s more meaningful for them. As an example, my 21-year-old daughter told me this story the […]

Read More

The Power of Failure Stories

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —June 13, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

Your willingness to share a failure can have a powerful effect. I remember this one clearly. It was a real punch to the gut. I was standing in the foyer of the Melbourne Fire Brigade headquarters when I received the call. The voice on the other end of the line was a new client: ‘I’m […]

Read More

10 Story-eliciting questions to be a wonderful conversationalist

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —June 2, 2014
Filed in Events

You know that networking is important. But if you are like me, you find networking events hard work. You’re not really sure what to say or how to get a good conversation going. Part of the problem is that we put too much pressure on ourselves to do all the talking in social situations. Well, […]

Read More

Send this to friend