Archive for 2012


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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Venue announced – The Harvard Club of Boston

Posted by  Kevin Bishop —April 10, 2012
Filed in Business storytelling, News

We can now confirm the venue for our ‘Storytelling for Business Leaders’ workshops in Boston, on the 5th June, is the Harvard Club of Boston. It is a truly stunning venue. Full details about it can be found here. If only those walls could talk! To read more about the course itself and to make […]

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Triggering stories and action through competition

When asked for the secret of his success in the steel industry, American industrialist Charles Schwab (1862-1939) always talked about using praise, not criticism, giving liberal bonuses for work well done, and “appeal[ing] to the American spirit of conquest in my men, the spirit of doing things better than anyone has ever done them before.” […]

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That’s how we do it

Posted by  Mark Schenk —April 5, 2012
Filed in Anecdotes

We’ve all heard it. “That’s how we do things around here.” It brooks no argument and is a strong signal that changing the behaviour might be difficult. That is, of course, if you tackle the issue directly. An alternative might be to use this little story that was told by a taxi driver as I […]

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Story triggering – reinforcing beliefs

I did a blog post in February about reconnecting with an old friend of mine, and how she is one of the most gifted storytellers I know. In that post I said I would be sharing some more of her stories, and here is one she shared with me recently. A few years back, I […]

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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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An “I’m like you story”

Posted by  Kevin Bishop —March 27, 2012
Filed in Communication

One of the story types we believe you need to be able to tell is the “I’m like you story”. This is a story you tell to build connection to your audience by showing them you are just like them in some way. We find it far easier to build a relationship and a connection […]

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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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