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Writing oral stories

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 25, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling, Communication

When you see a poem you know it’s a poem. When you see a screenplay you know it’s a screenplay. Most people, however, have never seen an oral story written down. Probably because it’s an oxymoron. Yet there are times when it’s useful to write an oral story down. For example, when you’re helping a […]

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The world’s best business story practitioners

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

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with some terrific business story practitioners. And because we love to know who are the really great story folk in our region, I thought I’d share who I think are the best story practitioners who are great to work with in the world today […]

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Pulling the strategy together with a story

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —April 25, 2013
Filed in Strategy

Last week I flew to Vienna to help a pharmaceutical company develop their strategy. It was a two day event. We used the first day to explore their current situation and past by, among other things, creating a massive visual history across one wall. We delved into the important events that have shaped them and […]

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Helping Big Data Scientists be Storytellers

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —April 5, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling

We’ve said often on this blog that you just don’t get the benefits of storytelling (meaning, memory, caring) unless you are telling a story. Over at the HBR blog last week Jeff Bladt and Bob Filbin from DoSomething.org wrote a piece entitled A Data Scientist’s Real Job: Storytelling. Their point was simple. Data on its own is […]

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The Role of Storytelling in Government

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —April 4, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling, Strategy

  “Government managers secure the resources they need to operate not by selling products and services to individual customers, but by selling a story of public value creation to elected representatives of the people in legislatures and executive branch positions.”1 Private sector leaders have it easy: they sell their products, they generate revenue, they manage […]

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Using stories to catch ‘smart-talk’

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 18, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling

He looks the part; he knows all the right buzzwords; he can quote chapter-and-verse from all the best-known pundits and practitioners. But is it all just empty ‘smart-talk’? Smart-talk is information without understanding, theory without practice – ‘all mouth and no trousers’, as the old aphorism puts it. It’s all too common amongst would-be ‘experts’ […]

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In praise of small stories

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 11, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling

Leaders should find and tell stories to help their people understand the concrete actions needed to get a job done, enact a business value or even implement a strategy. Stories are our user manuals for life. There’s a tendency, however, for leaders to find and tell the big stories in the business—it’s human nature. For […]

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Bringing strategy alive with an anecdote

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 2, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling, Strategy

Herb Kelleher [the longest-serving CEO of Southwest] once told someone, “I can teach you the secret to running this airline in thirty seconds. This is it: We are THE low-cost airline. Once you understand that fact, you can make any decision about this company`s future as well as I can.” “Here`s an example,” he continues. […]

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People buy from people they like

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —January 31, 2013
Filed in Selling

People buy from people they like and people buy from people like them. This was brought home again to me last week when an email turned up out of the blue that started; “It came as a surprise, on checking out your website, to discover you have not one bona fide storyteller among the names […]

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