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Corporate Culture Secrets From Nike’s Chief Storyteller Nelson Farris

September 4, 2014 5:41 am | Published by | Leave a Comment

How Storied Leadership Fosters Employee Engagement I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Nike’s Chief Storyteller and Sr. Director of Global HR Talent Development, Nelson Farris. Wow — what an amazing 30 minutes! I’ve known about Nelson since 1999 when I first saw his name in an article about organizational storytelling. I’ve been following him ever since. He has a wealth of knowledge and tons of in-the-trenches experiences working with stories at Nike. I’ve titled this post “How Storied Leadership Fosters Employee Engagement” because Nelson talks directly about how conscious storytelling positively impacts a company. As he shares with us in this interview, Nike’s ability to successfully cultivate and share its stories has created a strong corporate culture, employee engagement,... View Article »

Awesome Results With Executive Storytelling: Podcast With Rich Sheridan, CEO & Chief Storyteller

July 25, 2014 6:00 am | Published by | Leave a Comment

Does Storytelling Make A Difference? Yes It Does! Rich Sheridan shares philosophy, tips and advice for business leaders. Podcast: Karen Interviewed by Richard Sheridan I’ve been on the hunt for officially designated Chief Storytellers in corporations and have actually found a few! In this podcast I interview Rich Sheridan, CEO and Chief Storyteller at Menlo Innovations. Getting the skinny on what is actually happening with executive storytelling and employee engagement in companies is key to understanding how stories are shaping business and improving results. So stay tuned for more podcasts like this one. Menlo Innovations, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a software development firm. But they do it like no other. On their website you can read about their... View Article »

How GE Wins Big With B2B Corporate Storytelling

October 22, 2014 1:13 pm | Published by | Leave a Comment

“Behind every person, behind every company, behind everything, is a story of how it got there – and the most relevant stories connect on a personal level.” Beth Comstock, CMO of GE. The above c… Source: Article Link:  Ahhhhh — here’s an article that is music to my ears! It’s all about how GE is working with the principles of storytelling to provide buyers more than just information about product specifications. GE is deliberately working with stories to create the human connection with each other that we all desire. How do they do that? This article explains a lot about their approach. Like spending lots of time on listening first. Yeah!! That is a foundational skill for storytelling and... View Article »

Stories: Why Doctors Need Them

October 22, 2014 12:51 pm | Published by | Leave a Comment

In an era of systematic clinical research, medicine still requires the vignette. Source: Here is an article about stories from a completely different field — psychiatry — with some key insights about storytelling for us all. These insights are not about how to use stories in therapy (narrative therapy), nor are they about the psychological inner workings of storytelling that make people buy stuff. Instead, this article by Peter Kramer, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Brown University, points out the value of stories and vignettes as an important counterbalance to the prevailing “narrow, demanding version of evidence-based medicine”. He also discusses how far stories should inform medical practice. Kramer goes on to list the number of reasons why... View Article »

Corporate Storytelling: Want Results? Be Story Brave

October 21, 2014 8:21 am | Published by | Leave a Comment

Corporate Storytelling: Coming To Your Emotional Rescue – 10/03/2014 Source: Article Link:  Here’s a quick post with a very important message: most corporate storytelling is lackluster because companies and leaders want to play it safe. They want rosy stories that don’t rock the boat.  But that’s the antithesis of great storytelling — and it won’t get you the ROI you seek. As the amazing performance storyteller Elizabeth Ellis says, the best storytelling is about “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comforted”. Effective business storytelling takes courage, and this article gives us a good dose. As Lou Hoffman, CEO of the PR firm The Hoffman Agency says, “Be story brave. Story is worth fighting for.” This review was written by... View Article »

Bedtime Stories, Innovation and Leadership Success–Critical Connections

October 21, 2014 7:57 am | Published by | Leave a Comment

One night, as I begin to read a bedtime story to my six year old daughter, she stops me and says –“Dad, why don’t you tell me a story instead of reading it?” I set the book aside and my mind is Source: Article Link:  I’ve been traveling and working (the kind where you fall exhausted into bed early) but am finally back home and curating. While on the road I’ve been gathering a nice collection of articles to share with you this week. This first one comes from Karthik Rajan, Regional VP, Sales at GDF SUEZ in Texas. It’s a wonderful article about how bedtime stories with his daughter turned into keen insights into creativity and leadership —... View Article »

Reframing The Climate Change Story: Nature Is Speaking And She Is Pissed

October 11, 2014 6:25 am | Published by | Leave a Comment

A new Conservation International campaign uses some famous voices to remind us nature doesn’t need us, but we really need nature. Source: Article Link: I curated this piece because it’s a fascinating example of how the ‘story’ of climate change is in the process of being reframed. It’s a good lesson in storytelling — about why a story fails, and how to correct it. Storytelling in business doesn’t work all of the time — for a variety of reasons. But when it does, it can produce phenomenal results. Here we have the ‘story’ of climate change that has not worked for several decades. As one top environmental scientist lamented to me during one of my workshops, “We scientists keep... View Article »

Who Really Created Modern Tech? The Forgotten Female Programmers Story

October 10, 2014 7:24 am | Published by | Leave a Comment

The Innovators, Walter Isaacson’s new book, tells the stories of the people who created modern computers. Women, who are now a minority in computer science, played an outsize role in that history. Source: Article Link: Now here’s a story you rarely hear — all about the women mathematicians who created our modern computers. This is a wonderful read, and a perfect way to end the week. As usual, women’s contributions are off the radar screen. Yet it is inspiring to read how much they contributed to the creation of computers. These women were front-and-center, not help maidens. Who knew??!! Read this fascinating story. And oh, BTW — there are tons of these backstories laying around just waiting to be... View Article »

Why Do We Make Audiences Sit In The Dark When Telling Stories?

October 9, 2014 12:19 pm | Published by | Leave a Comment

Stage lighting is bad for the speaker and the audience. Source: Article Link: OK — great question! Why DO we make audiences sit in the dark when we are sharing our stories??? Here’s a secret from the story performance world — rarely do professional storytellers tell stories to a dark auditorium. We most often ask for the house lights to be turned up so we can see the audience. Why? Because storytelling is a co-created experience involving deep listening with the audience so you can connect with them and make slight shifts in the story to fit the moment. And that can’t happen when you can’t see the audience. As the author Nick Morgan says in this post... View Article »

Business Storytelling 101: A 7-Step Refresher

October 9, 2014 12:08 pm | Published by | Leave a Comment

Seven strategies for making people care about your message. Source: Article Link: I haven’t curated an article in a while about the necessary core story elements needed for effective business storytelling. So when I ran across this one by JD Schramm, I thought it would be a good refresher — just like the title says. All of the elements/qualities Schramm mentions are solid. I want to particularly point out the first piece of advice he gives — never say, “I’d like to tell you a story about….” Instead, just drop us into the action/experience of the story. Why? Well first, because it’s not needed and wastes time. Second, because it can often set up unconscious barriers to the... View Article »

6 Ways to Spark Customers to Tell Their Stories in Social Media

October 8, 2014 3:18 pm | Published by | Leave a Comment

End radio silence in your social channels Storytelling is the oldest form of marketing, whether on cave walls, on chairs in a general store, or in those 30-second scenes we call TV commercials. But for thousands of years, storytelling in marketing w… Source: Article Link:  Here’s a handy list for anyone wanting to increase their engagement with customers/prospects on social media. All of these can be used to encourage customers to share their stories.Is it straight-up storytelling? No. But it’s a great list to get people engaged. And that’s where storytelling starts. So use these to your advantage. And you might think of more, too! Just make sure that at some point during the process you access customer gold... View Article »