Welcome to our podcast, Anecdotally Speaking. Each week we tell a business story, talk about why it works and discuss where you might tell it at work. Our aim is to help you build your story repertoire.


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200 – Weber BBQ Australian Success

Welcome to the Anecdotally Speaking podcast! Visit our website for more captivating stories and business insights! https://www.anecdote.com/ In this episode, our hosts Shawn Callahan and …

Dec 22, 2023

199 – Approach to the south poles apart – Amundsen Scott

Two explorers from the northern hemisphere set out to be the first to reach the South Pole – Roald Amundsen of Norway and Robert Falconer Scott of England. Their expedition planning, team, equipment and transport selections could not have been more different.

Shawn and Mark discuss the relevance of this story to: corporate culture, knowing your limitations, hand picking your teams and the impact of clear, singular goals on success.

Dec 7, 2023

198 – Mayor in the monkey suit – Stuart Drummond

People from Hartlepool UK are known colloquially as ‘monkey hangers’ – a moniker that stems from the Napoleonic Wars of the 1800s. But this story is about a larrikin mascot in a monkey suit making mayor and breaking records…

Shawn and Mark bring these disparate (but related) stories together to illustrate some business points around seizing the day, fact being stranger than fiction, and judging books by their covers.

Nov 30, 2023

197 – Atlanta Olympic swim 1996 – Kieren Perkins

Australian champion swimmer Kieren Perkins barely qualified for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and only just made the final for the 1500 metre event. Shawn and Mark discuss how extraordinary ‘turn-arounds’, under promising and over delivering, and reduced expectations of self can sometimes lead to world class moments.

Nov 23, 2023

196 – Better fire story – Michigan Uni

Michigan University researchers sought to understand the ‘stickiness’ of stories – does factual or emotionally charged information provided ‘after the fact’ change how a story is told or re-told? Shawn and Mark discuss how a ‘better story’ might usurp an prevailing story (sometimes regardless of the truth).

Nov 16, 2023

195 – Bullet train kingfisher nose – Eiji Nakatsu

Bird watcher and engineer Eiji Nakatsu sped up and made Japan’s bullet trains quieter by studying the kingfisher’s beak.

Shawn and Mark stick their noses into how a business might use this story to encourage innovation through biomimicry.

Nov 7, 2023

194 – French reverse mortgage – Jeanne Calment

Jeanne Louise Calment lived to 122 years of age (a species record). Who would have thought such an age was achievable? How would you feel, betting against such a long life, and losing on the deal?

Shawn and Mark discuss how a business might use this story to illustrate the unexpected nature of planning, and the danger of ‘the sure thing’.

Oct 30, 2023

193 – Rolling Stones songwriting – Andrew Loog Oldham

Andrew Loog Oldham at 19 years of age was the Rolling Stones first manager. By suggesting that Keith Richards and Mick Jagger start writing original songs, a 50 year plus collaboration was born (affectionately now known as the ‘Strolling Bones’ ;>). Shawn and Mark discuss how a business might use this story to explain both the value of copying masters, and encouraging innovation.

Oct 6, 2023

192 – Americas Cup speed focus – Peter Blake

Sir Peter Blake suggested a single focus for New Zealand’s Americas Cup challenge – only do those things that make the boat go faster – leading to two trophies. Shawn and Mark discuss how a business might use this story to galvanise a team.

Sep 29, 2023

191 – Ben and Jerry take a stand on marriage equality

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brought their passionate support for community values to life in a light hearted campaign to support marriage quality during 2017. Shawn and Mark discuss this unique plan to increase community awareness and conversation.

Sep 15, 2023

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