People are intrigued by the work we do at Anecdote. When they hear how we use stories in a business setting they often mistakenly think we are helping leaders tell better stories. Most of the time we leave that side of the discipline of business narrative to the Steve Dennings of this world. We help organisations collect and make sense of their stories. We’ve called this story-listening.
When people ask, “so what do you call yourself then Shawn?” I sometimes respond, half jokingly, by saying I’m a corporate anthropologist. Some people laugh, others love the idea. As with any title, it’s not entirely accurate. The traditional anthropologist or ethnographer makes observations and then interprets them. This interpretation becomes an expert’s opinion. This article is a good example of the expert ethnographer at work in a business setting.
We also observe but more often than not we coach the organisation to observe things for themselves, and more importantly we help a group of people, representing the stakeholders that might be affected by any planned improvements, interpret these observations. Of course the observations are collected in the form of stories.
About Shawn Callahan
Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on: