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Diagnosis requires observation—both are essential for good strategy

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —June 5, 2012
Filed in Strategy

An article in the Wall Street Journey describes how medical students at more than 20 medical schools, including Harvard, Columbia and Cornell, attend an art museum intervention to improve their skills of observation. The students are assigned a painting and observe as many details as they can and then get together to discuss what they’ve […]

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Story quote of the week

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —June 3, 2012
Filed in Business storytelling

Click to see larger version 800×600

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Stories affect a slow burn

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —June 3, 2012
Filed in Business storytelling

This week I presented at the Sydney knowledge management round table and Rod Irwin, the co-ordinator of the group, remarked at just how long one can remember a story. He remembers one he heard in 1978. There are many reasons why we remember stories much better that other types of information. Firstly, if the story […]

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Jonathan Gottschall is turning business storytelling into a toothless tiger

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 4, 2012
Filed in Business storytelling

Jonathan Gottschall, a literary scholar, has just written a piece for Fast Company called Why Storytelling is the Ultimate Weapon and in the process has set back the field of business storytelling with his emphasis on fictitious stories. I can imagine that being a literary scholar gets Jonathan entwined in myths and legends and literary […]

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Telling Stories Puts Our Brains in Sync

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 1, 2012
Filed in Business storytelling, Communication

Greg Stephens, Lauren Silbert and Uri Hasson are Princeton University neuroscientists who in 2010 conducted a series of experiments showing that an audience’s brains light up (imagine they are all in a fMRI machine) the same way as the presenter’s brain when she tells a story. In their words, “Speaker and listener brain activity exhibits […]

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More thoughts on why we retell stories

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —April 13, 2012
Filed in Business storytelling

The following few paragraphs are part of an exercise I’m doing with Madelyn Blair. We’re writing an Essay in Two Voices, a format invented by Madelyn and Victoria Ward I believe. Here, however, you’re only hearing one voice, mine. My first part (500 words) is here. Here is my second part (250), which is partly […]

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Some initial thoughts on why we retell stories

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 29, 2012
Filed in Business storytelling, Communication

As soon as I walked into our office I wanted to tell Kevin the story Hugh Grant told on Graham Norton’s talk show last night. It was a funny little story; an embarrasing stituation for Hugh in a French train toilet. It made me laugh. And when I told it to Kevin we both laughed […]

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In communicating your strategy what do your projects say?

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 23, 2012
Filed in Communication, Strategy

What’s more important, what we say or what we do? I think we all know that our actions reveal what’s really important. Actions speak louder than words and all that. So in the realm of strategy it makes little sense to invest in communicating a strategy if your company’s actions say something else. A company’s […]

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KM Australia 2012

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —February 3, 2012
Filed in News

I’m presenting our story work at KM Australia this year (24-26 July) and I’ll also be taking part in the debate, which has been organised in a friendly and fun way. We are debating whether tacit knowledge can and should be captured. If you’d like to know more about the congress here’s the event blurb. […]

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An open letter to Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —January 10, 2012
Filed in Business storytelling

Dear Ginni, Congratulations on your appointment as IBM’s CEO. I’m looking forward to seeing how the company changes under your wise guidence. I’m writing this letter because I’ve just read the transcript of your interview at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit held last year. I hope you don’t think this too bold but I would […]

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