A new workshop, but what should we call it?

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —August 31, 2008
Filed in Business storytelling

Many of you will be familiar with our business narrative workshop. It’s a one day event where we cover how to find anecdotes in an organisation and then help your people make sense of the patterns they contain so new initiatives can be designed and implemented.

Every time we run this workshop the participants say it should be two days not one. So we are expanding this workshop and focussing it on how it helps people foster change in a productive way.

The problem is we are not entirely sure what to call it. Can you give us a hand please? I’ve created this poll to get your thoughts and would really appreciate any ideas.

Thanks for your help.

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:

8 Responses to “A new workshop, but what should we call it?”

  1. Dave Pollard Says:

    Making Sense of Your Company’s Stories

  2. Shawn Callahan Says:

    Thanks for the suggestion Dave. While I personally really like that title, our customers tend to say “so what?” or “why should I care about making sense of stories?” The story word is often too unbusiness-like for people new to our work and that’s why we have used the term ‘narrative.’ It was interesting to see that Steve Denning completely dropped stories and narrative from his last book title–the secret language of leadership. I suspect he had a similar experience.

  3. Nerida Hart Says:

    Effective change management using narrative techniques
    You need business language or you don’t get the intended audience – it should make the potential attendee sit up and take notice – use words which show you understand the problem – good luck

  4. chris colton Says:

    Narrative Techniques for Accelerated Change

  5. Luke Says:

    I agree that narrative is better than story. But should change management be in the title? It sounds a bit formal and not active enough. How about “Managing change through narrative techniques” – a variation of Nerida’s. Or perhaps instead, you forget about creating a name for the workshop and just call it the Anecdote Workshop (helps with branding) and perhaps build an accreditation program around it.

  6. Jeff De Cagna Says:

    Driving Organizational Growth through Narrative

    I agree with the spirit of Dave’s suggestion, in that the title must convey action. I agree with the spirit of Nerida’s suggestion that you need business language. My proposal is an attempt to marry the two ideas.

    I think growth is a better word than change, in that it expresses a desired (and desirable) outcome rather than a process. There is also the double meaning embedded in the word “growth” that I think will attract business types as well as those interested in story and narrative.

  7. Shawn Callahan Says:

    I like your suggestion and reasoning a lot Jeff. Growth also suggests an organic point of view, which reflects our approach. To keep our metaphors aligned what about Fostering Organisational Growth through Narrative?
    Nerida’s point is an important one in that potential attendees need to know what type of business issue they will learn how to address. This is why we focussed on change because it is a language business people already understand. Maybe something like Sparking Effective Change through Narrative. While ‘Growth’ is a good world it might make the scope too wide and attendees will not know if it is really aimed at them.
    Taking Luke’s suggestion perhaps we can take our tag line, Putting Stories to Work, and make that the title.
    Thanks for all your suggestions.

  8. Bret Treasure Says:

    Once Upon A Time There Was A Company
    You’ll attract more attention with this and it’s memorable. Then follow it with a sentence that explains they can use narrative techniques in achieving change.

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