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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 »

Want to fix world problems? Then tell a different story.

September 16, 2014 5:27 am | Published by | Leave a Comment

Change the story, and you change everything. Source: Wow — what a rich and thought-provoking post that is a must-read for anyone interested in business storytelling (or any kind of storytelling). The insights shared here should keep you occupied for quite awhile. The gist of this article is this: if we see/want a better future, then what story will help us get there? As the author says, “Our stories have an immense power to shape the world.” Tim Hjersted of is the author and I’m adding him to my list of ‘must follow people’. He explains how sharing different kinds of stories will get us out of our present and into a more desirable future. Even better —... View Article »

Give ‘Em a Story to Tell: The Heart Of Marketing Is Experience

September 15, 2014 1:25 pm | Published by | Leave a Comment

VideoSouthwest Airlines recently launched new branding for the airline. It’s snappier and more refined, yet still reflective of a colorful Southwest. One thing stands out. The heart is now more prominent in the branding. Perhaps the biggest and most unique reflection of this is a large heart painted on the [...] Source: I recently curated an article on storytelling at Southwest Airlines as a key driver to corporate success — and a strong corporate culture. Now here’s another article that goes into more depth about how Southwest nurtures its culture via storytelling and experiences — that then gives staff and customers more stories to tell. This is the heart of the storytelling dynamic. The best news is that you... View Article »

Storytelling Implications: Appealing To Values, Not Attitudes

September 12, 2014 9:27 am | Published by | Leave a Comment

In any industry, some of the most successful new business ideas are the most radical. But these are also the most likely to fail, fast. Having a proposition that goes against the prevailing view can be game-changing; if you can get people to agree with you. And there’s the hard [...] Source: Here’s something to think about over the weekend — when you are sharing your stories is your objective to change attitudes or values? Turns out the answer could make a world of difference for you if you want to be more successful. For many years I wrote about values (personal and organization), did workshops about them, and diagnosed companies regarding them. Here is part of what I... View Article »

For Storytelling, Which Is Better: A Flipchart or PowerPoint?

September 12, 2014 9:11 am | Published by | Leave a Comment

A new study shows a difference in comprehension between PowerPoint and flip charts. Source: Here’s some new research that is out that may have a direct impact on your business storytelling. According to the study conducted by Stanford Univ, comprehension and retention of material soars when a flipchart or whiteboard is used during a presentation and PowerPoint (PPT) is nowhere to be seen. Makes sense to me. In my work I rarely use PPT anymore. In fact, if you conceive of all your presentations and facilitation as a story, you will hardly use PPT. Why? Because stories and storytelling is all about feeding images from your mind to the minds of your listeners. If you are a good storyteller, PPT becomes less important.... View Article »

Create Stunning Images + Videos With These 8 Visual Content Apps

September 11, 2014 9:10 am | Published by | Leave a Comment

Do you want to present visual messages in new ways? This article shows eight design resources and tools to create visual content quickly and easily. Source: What a great list of tools! It includes everything from where to find copyright free photos to creating easy animated videos to fast ways to generate simple graphics for blogs and social sharing. If you are like me, you don’t have time to fuss and fidget with visuals. You need tools that are quick and easy. It looks like many of these qualify. Enjoy these time savers and here’s to making wonderful visuals to enhance our business storytelling! This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at 

Power Links Between Story Sharing, Innovation, Knowledge Transfer, Work Spaces

September 11, 2014 8:55 am | Published by | Leave a Comment

No, we won’t all be working from home. The surprising reasons why Google’s bee keeping group and Instant Messengers are so powerful. Source: Here’s another great article (with a few twists) about the value of  working in proximity to others, and face-to-face interactions — and the positive impact on both business productivity and profitability. It’s easy to get caught up in technology and working virtually. Yet what we know from studies done since 1977 is that face-to-face communication remains critically important in organizations. And of course, when you are actually working with people in the same physical environment, conversations and sharing stories happen all the time. As this article says, physical closeness even boosts virtual communication. Who knew??!! This... View Article »

A Significant Part of Your Biz Story: Purpose-Driven Marketing

September 10, 2014 3:14 pm | Published by | Leave a Comment

You’ll often find me in some huge debates online on anything related to politics, religion and capitalism… all the red-hot buttons that most people avoid. It’s why I have personal and branded presences across social media. If you want marketing only, follow the brand. If you want me, follow me… but be careful… you get all of me.+ While I’m an unabashed capitalist, I also have a big heart. I believe we should help one another and not depend on bureaucracies that are inefficient and ineffective. I truly believe the way we change things is by taking personal responsibility and helping to be the catalysts for change. Our agency is always donating time, money and other resources to not just help charities…... View Article »

The Power of Visual in Biz Storytelling

September 9, 2014 10:20 am | Published by | Leave a Comment

Forget about “show, don’t tell.” These days it’s show and tell. And this holds ever more relevant when it comes to creating a compelling brand story. The power of visual is simply encoded in our genes. We process visual information incomparably faster than impressions from other senses and we retain it for much longer periods … Source: This is a quick article with some great reminders about the power of imagery in storytelling — and a few additional insights on how visuals can immediately connect with/activate emotions. Of course, all effective storytelling is based on the storyteller being able to transmit/spark images in the listener’s brain. Oral storytellers have been doing this successfully for 100,000+ years. Today we also... View Article »

Great examples to follow of ‘customer as hero’ stories from Southwest Airlines

September 8, 2014 9:05 am | Published by | Leave a Comment

From our very beginning, Southwest Airlines has been a maverick in the airline and Customer Service industries. We set ourselves apart every single day by de… Source: Here’s a 13 minute video from Southwest Airlines that my biz storytelling colleagues Paul Smith and David Hutchens found and shared on Facebook. It is a fabulous example of how customer stories convey an organization’s values, vision, and mission. And there is something else here that Southwest does really well — most of the stories are NOT so much about the company. Instead, the customers are the heroes. In other words, many of the stories are about something important happening in the customer’s life and Southwest happened to be the vehicle for... View Article »