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Meeting in Europe

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 1, 2015
Filed in News

I head off to Europe on Saturday. I’ll be speaking at the World Communication Forum in Davos on the 10-11 March and then heading over to Berlin to run a public Storytelling for Leaders program in Berlin. At the Berlin event we will welcoming some new partners to Anecdote from Belgium and the UK, which is exciting. We’re still keen […]

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How to stop your change program from stalling

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —February 24, 2015
Filed in Business storytelling, Culture, Strategy

Every large change program invariably starts with enthusiasm, good intentions and an energy spike, even if there are naysayers. But as time wears on, it’s easy for everyone to lose sight of the company’s higher purpose. When that happens, morale – and ultimately performance – slumps. And when a company slides into a dip, it often […]

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Effective vision statements evoke imagery

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —February 12, 2015
Filed in Strategy

In 2014, with the help of several colleagues, Andrew Carton, Assistant Professor of Management at the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton School, set about studying how the specific language of leader rhetoric impacts on productivity. The researchers analysed the vision statements of 151 American hospitals, looking specifically at those related to cardiology units. They wanted […]

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How to develop the vital habit of noticing stories

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —February 4, 2015
Filed in Business storytelling

Develop your own search image for stories Once you’ve developed the ability to spot stories, the next habit is to actively notice them. Early in the 20th century biologists observed how animals, such as birds, learn how to notice a specific variety of prey and how they become extremely good at finding them. For example, […]

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A simple method to help you to remember stories

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —January 15, 2015
Filed in Business storytelling

The most effective use of business storytelling is when you can tell a story to make a point off the cuff, no preparation. This can only happen if you remember stories to tell. A good way to do that is to simply tell stories as soon as you can after finding them. Ebbinghaus’ forgetting curve […]

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The link between memory and stories

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —January 8, 2015
Filed in Business storytelling

The link between memory and stories is tightly woven. You can’t understand story without understanding memory. Our evolution has gifted us with some interesting memory quirks including our natural urge to preference a complete story over one where essential parts are missing. I’ve felt this effect keenly on my first visit to Washington DC. I was […]

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Anecdote’s Top 10 posts of 2014

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —December 22, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling, News

2014, our 10th year in business, was a watershed for Anecdote. Our partner network has grown to 27 partners in 17 countries and it continues to grow. Apart from our partners’ deep skills and wonderful expertise, they are a great bunch of people who are a joy to spend time with. We are looking forward to our partner […]

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Acts of leadership humanity: showing deep respect

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —December 18, 2014
Filed in Anecdotes, Business storytelling

Emil Zátopek was a giant of long distance running. His record still stands as the only person to win gold in the 5000 metre, the 10000 metre and the marathon at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Olympics. Apparently running the marathon was a last minute decision. In 1968 Australian runner, Ron Clarke, visited Emil in his […]

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How to inspire with stories

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —December 16, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling, Culture

We all want to be inspired. And we all want to inspire others. Parents want to inspire their kids. Business leaders want to inspire the people they lead. It can sound like a lofty desire, so how do you actually do it? Let’s start by thinking about what inspiration means in practice. I’m hoping these […]

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How to build the storytelling habit

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —December 11, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

Business people love structure. When I ask people after our storytelling workshops what they found most valuable, more often than not they will say they loved the story patterns. These are a few different story structures we teach that are great for changing minds, or for answering the question ‘Why?’ Story patterns are good set […]

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