Archive for the ‘Strategy’ Category


Knowing when to find a strategic narrative

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 17, 2015
Filed in Strategy

Have you ever heard someone say, that picture really tells a story? When I first heard someone say this I just couldn’t see it. How could a single image tell a story? Surely a story is a set of events culminating into something unexpected. There needs to be more than a single image for it […]

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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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Clarity stories are one of the things Government officials can do right

Posted by  Amanda Marko —June 2, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling, Strategy

By Amanda Marko, an Anecdote Partner based in the USA On the main convention floor of Madison Square Garden in New York City, thousands of screaming party loyalists had temporarily replaced thousands of screaming Knicks fans for a week in late August 2004. Behind an unmarked door off the main floor, the volume was more […]

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How to connect brand and sales with oral stories to accelerate growth

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 19, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling, Communication, Strategy

Salespeople detest brand gobbledygook. And it’s no wonder. Have you heard brand lingo lately? Lovemarks, saliency, brand-defined competitive sets, brand character, brand claims, brand personality, 80-slide PowerPoint presentations sprinkled with made-up words and forgettable catchphrases … It’s hard for a salesperson to understand this brand bumf, much less translate it into something they can share […]

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A strategic approach to organisational narratives

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —December 17, 2013
Filed in Strategy

Narratives are a connected set of stories that together form a bigger story, one with a beginning, middle and end. It’s a bit like a movie in which each scene is itself a small story. Take Star Wars. Early in the movie we meet Luke, who is living with his aunt and uncle, farming moisture […]

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IABC Survey shows strategic narratives linked to effective change

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —October 21, 2013
Filed in News, Strategy

The International Association of Business Communications (IABC) recently published the findings from its internal communication (iC) survey for 2013. It was interesting to see it had an entire section dedicated to strategic narratives. Here are some of the results. The survey sampled 215 Internal Communication professionals across Australia. 28% of the companies have a strategic […]

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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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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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A strategic story mustn’t be a script

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —June 6, 2013
Filed in Business storytelling, Strategy

Smart people hate to be told what to do or say. Yet way too often leaders are given a standard set of powerpoint slides or even a script and are asked to share these pearls with their colleagues. Enthusiasm, and authenticity, plummets. There’s definitely a better way. A few months ago I was teaching 150 […]

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