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How to spot an oral story

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —October 13, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling

The ability to spot an oral story is THE key to effective story-work. You only get the benefits of storytelling if you’re telling a story. This knowledge alone will set you apart from all the people who are merely talking about stories but not telling any. Just this week, for example, I bumped into one […]

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To John Hagel: please don’t take story out of corporate narrative

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —October 9, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling, Strategy

John Hagel is a highly influential business thought leader. He heads up a think tank for Deloitte Touche in the USA and has written some terrific books such as the Power of Pull. Senior leaders listen to John and he’s in the privileged position to introduce new ideas, such as corporate narrative, to boardrooms around […]

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Tell better business stories by resisting the urge to write them down in full

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 29, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling

When leaders first learn about business storytelling quite often their first instinct is to write their stories down, in full with all the flourish they hope to convey in the retelling. This is a mistake. You see, each time you tell an oral story it’s done in a specific context and, in the case of […]

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7 practical business storytelling tips

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 1, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling

The art of business storytelling is all about practice. Here are seven practical things you can do to improve your business storytelling. Never mention the ‘s’ word, as in ‘I have a story I would like to share …’ Instead, just launch into the story, starting with a sentence that helps people understand why they […]

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How business stories emerge and become good ones to tell

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —August 28, 2013
Filed in Anecdotes, Business storytelling

Ric Holland is the CEO of Melbourne City Mission. MCM has a long history in Melbourne being established at the time of the gold rush in the 1800s. The enormous influx of people to Melbourne back then created unprecedented homelessness and MCM was created to help people find a place to live. Fighting homelessness is […]

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3 places to find great storytelling for business examples

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —August 23, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling

Yesterday my sister called and said, “I have an idea for a book you should write. Why don’t you collect a bunch of stories that illustrate different leadership challenges and publish them for leaders to retell.” Good idea sis. We all need a repertoire of stories to tell and they are never easy to find […]

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Releasing Insight in your organisation through the power of story

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —August 12, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling

In September 2011, Gary Klein, Patrick Lambe and I ran a workshop in Singapore exploring how insight and story work together to release insight in an organisation. This was part of a process Gary was taking to help develop his new book which is all about insight, which was published this month. Highly recommended. As […]

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Stories don’t need conflict and resolution, or a hero for that matter

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 30, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling

It seems that everyone is giving advice about stories and storytelling these days. And it irks me every time I hear a story ‘expert’ say that a story must have conflict and resolution. Really? Take this morning’s offering from Copyblogger.com, which lists 5 reasons to use stories. Number 2 says, Stories have conflict and resolution. […]

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How to embed company values with systematic stories

What do your organisational values actually mean? Do you have a list of 4, 5, 6 one-word, abstract concepts such as integrity, responsive and agile that represent your values? You might even have a few paragraphs describing each value. Most organisations I’ve worked with have something similar and it hasn’t helped them that much. These […]

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How to get all your executive team on the same page with your strategy

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 24, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling, Leadership Posts, Strategy

Have you ever had that feeling that your executive team is all saying they understand and support the strategy but you sense that they are not really on the same page? This is a common occurrence and it becomes starkly apparent when we are helping a company translate their strategy to a story everyone can […]

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