Latest Posts

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 »

Participant Index–Finding Out Why 1 Film Spurs Action, While Another Doesn’t

July 26, 2014 7:00 am | Published by | Leave a Comment

A film company, two foundations and a university want to know what motivates people to support an issue on social media after they see issue-oriented movies, TV shows or online video. Source: Now this is very interesting. We all know that our business stories are crafted to move people to action. But how does that happen really really, and how do you measure or evaluate it? Here comes along Participant Media, an activist entertainment company to answer these vexing questions. They are developing a measuring tool to determine emotional response and level of engagement to films (stories). There’s still a way to go, but we should keep this on our radar screen for its application to business storytelling. Learn... View Article »

Want Results With Biz Storytelling? Rich Sheridan, CEO & Chief Storyteller Shares How

July 25, 2014 7:18 am | Published by | Leave a Comment

CEO Rich Sheridan talks about the power of executive storytelling on employee engagement and wild business growth. Source: I recently had a great time interviewing Rich Sheridan, CEO and Chief Storyteller of Menlo Innovations based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.   I love Rich’s story of the Viking helmets, corporate culture, and about storytelling being a critical part of his CEO duties. And the results for Menlo have been amazing.   Listen to this podcast or download it for later this weekend. There are terrific insights here and our conversation was both fun and enlightening.   Expect more to follow. I’ve interviewed other Chief Storytellers (still waiting on corporate approvals) and am scheduling several folks in the next few weeks.... View Article »

Using Stories: The Right Way to Sell Your Business Case

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

Get key stakeholders on board with one effective presentation. Source: I periodically get calls from clients asking me to help them ‘sell’ their projects across business divisions. They need to promote their work and enroll others from elsewhere in the corporate in their projects. They need buy-in, commitment, and resources. So how does this get done? By using storytelling, of course. I like this article because of its very practical advice for how to present your business case and get others on board.  Towards the end there’s a recap of their tips (nice!), and after that 2 case studies are presented (sweet!). I very much appreciate illustrated examples and cases to make concepts shared become real. The author, Carolyn... View Article »

Telling A Story That Hooks Audiences: A Fab Example

July 23, 2014 6:01 am | Published by | Leave a Comment


Colleague Michael Harris wrote this blog post recently and I couldn't stop cracking up! I laughed so hard I had to read the story to my husband Tim. He laughed just as hard.

Michael uses storytelling in his sales training and he uses this story to demonstrate why it works. And to point out the difference between 'corporate speak' and storytelling. Imagine telling this story in corporate language. We'd be bored to tears.

But here's another way to think about this story: we all have at least one story like this. A story when we screwed up big time. A story about a time we failed. A story about a near miss. A story about good friends who stick around even after misadventures. 

All of these stories have a place in business. Because they make you human. When shared authentically they form and deepen relationships. They let us know that even when we screw up, there is redemption. This is how we learn from others -- about what not to do, and about being human at work.

Sharing ups and downs helps us build deeper and stronger relationships. It might surprise you to experience how showing your vulnerability actually generates more trust and respect in you and for you. When we hide our failures from others, we idealize ourselves while separating ourselves from others at the same time. Not good.

So read this article and go have a good laugh. Then ask yourself, "What story do I share in return?" Michael's story should spark one within you.

Capture that story and share it at the right time in a business setting. You'll be glad you did.

This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at 

Reinventing the Chief Marketer: Storytelling & the New World Order

July 22, 2014 2:32 pm | Published by | Leave a Comment

Why marketing and sustainability must be under one leader.


This article is the perfect companion to the other article I curated today on Patagonia.

Here Keith Weed, Chief Marketing Officer at Unilever, gives us insights into how to balance the tensions between marketing, communication, and sustainability.

You see, Weed is responsible for all 3 functions at Unilever. What??!! Now how does that work? When I first read that, I thought, "Oh jeez, communication and sustainability is now just another bunch of hype from marketing. Yuck!"

Not so, grasshopper. As I read the post I understood how fundamentally different Weed's approach is -- where he manages the tension between all 3 without sacrificing any one. And this re-thinking/re-fashioning of marketing is where the future of business is.

And storytelling is at the core, even though it is not the focus of the article. But we know it's importance when Weed says, "Well, the real tension you have in companies is when marketing is in one silo, identifying what consumers need and driving demand, while sustainability is in another trying to reduce environmental impact, while Corporate Social Responsibility is in another working on the company’s social contribution while communications is telling its own, possibly different, story. In a connected world, this kind of internal disconnection is a hindrance not a help." So true! Yes, these are all different stories being told that in  most organizations are never reconciled. And it sure does negatively impact the bottom line.

Read more about how Weed has managed this reconciliation and is moving Unilever into a solid future. No matter what size your business is, there are lessons here for everyone.

This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at 


Radical Storytelling: How Patagonia Is Telling Customers To Use Less Of Their Product

July 22, 2014 6:00 am | Published by | Leave a Comment

It's one of 10 strategies that make up a new way of doing business, given the coming realities of a hotter, scarcer, and more transparent world.


I've been following sports clothing company Patagonia for awhile now because they keep coming up with new kinds of stories to tell that keep propelling their business forward.

In this article by Andrew Winston, he discusses Patagonia's latest endeavor to have customers hang onto the company's products. It's a natural outgrowth of their philosophy of using less and protecting the environment. But it's totally counterintuitive to how business operates -- which is why it is so brilliant. And it is working for them. Business has not fallen off with this strategy -- but grown.

What I love about Patagonia is that they truly do walk their talk. No company is perfect, but this company's authenticity meter is off the charts. 

Patagonia also innovated supply chain storytelling, a new category of back stories. So I'm not surprised at this next round of storytelling, and look forward to what they'll come up with in the future.

In the meantime, the author did a great job posing a series of questions/next steps any business can take to develop this new avenue of storytelling. It's pretty provocative and well worth the read.

Don't get caught at the back of the line. Read the article to stay on the cutting edge of business trends and storytelling.

This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at 

Business Storytelling: 5 Mistakes Most Folks Make

July 21, 2014 2:44 pm | Published by | Leave a Comment

The purpose of this presentation is to list 5 typical mistakes people make when sharing stories in business settings.


Here's a quick SlideShare piece that covers 5 mistakes people often make when sharing stories in business settings.

I like it because some points made I rarely see.  For example -- often people think they are sharing a story when they are NOT. Or how to start a story -- and it is definitely NOT by saying "Let me tell you a story..."

There are other goodies here too. If you avoid these 5 mistakes you will be ahead of most folks!

This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at 

Solving Problems With Narrative Intelligence

July 19, 2014 6:25 am | Published by | Leave a Comment

How narrative intelligence can help everyone design solutions and generate useful data.


Here's a handy article and tool that any organization can use. It's all about how to use narrative elements and design thinking to solve problems.

While the post is written on how nonprofits can address social problems, the insights and tools shared here apply to us all.

The tool is free to download, which is great! The article shares the story about why and how it was created, along with results people have experienced. Way cool.

Enjoy the article and use the tool.

This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at