Colleague Andrew Nemiccolo has just published his new e-book on business storytelling and I really like it.
I know -- you are thinking, "What?! ANOTHER ebook on business storytelling??" Yep, and it's good. Here's what I like about it:
1. The focus on 'back-channel' communication and listening 2. Tackling being vulnerable and getting comfortable sharing your personal stories 3. Advice to NOT find stories, but find experiences instead 4. Steps for figuring out who your audience is first before you share a story 5. All the great story prompts for figuring out and organizing the experiences you want to share 6. Tips for creating a story bank of your experiences
I am not crazy about the definition of 'story' that Andrew uses -- basically for him, anything is a story. Well, that's not helpful and actually leads to a lot of confusion for people. A Tweet is not a story, but it can be part of a larger business narrative. Knowing the difference will help you better target your storytelling efforts.
The book is primarily focused on marketing and branding. Even so, the information and advice can be use in a whole host of other biz story applications.
Go grab the easy-to-read-and-digest book and get smarter about working with stories in business.
I have no affiliation with Andrew or his company other than a promise to chat over coffee sometime. Enjoy the book!
"Have you ever looked at your marketing materials and thought, “that’s not really me?” Been there. In fact, my (thankfully last) resume comes to mind. And, oddly, my mind wandered a bit, thinking how most marketing materials similarly fail to tell us what’s really unique about a brand."
Well, I am embarrassed to admit this, but the author of Story Works, Sharlene Sones, asked me to review her new e-book months ago -- and I am just now getting to it. My apologies Sharlene! But better late than never I guess.
I love this book. For several reasons:
Size & readabililty -- this book is constructed so you can easily flip through it. And it is laid out so it is easy to read and digest. Perfect! I can't tell you how many posts and e-books I ignore because the layout makes it too hard to read. And I wouldn't want to subject you to that either. Sharlene's book is a breeze to walk through.
Content -- Sharlene does a masterful job at guiding us through the business applications of story. She touches on everything from marketing/branding, unique proposition, sales, to leadership, culture, career development, and back. Whew! That's a lot of territory to cover. But she does it well.
Sharlene explains how story will make a difference in these areas -- and WHY it does. And she gives us tips for using story in several applications. As a bonus, there are lots of story quotes to add to your list, along with examples from companies to make her points.
What I particularly like is her focus on story as conversation -- and that story sharing is where the real leverage is in org story work.
I may quibble a bit on some of Sharlene's points -- are testimonials really stories? Depends on the definition you use. For me, not so much. But the bulk of Sharlene's material is so right on, I am not going to be so picky.
Sharlene also tackles 'engagement' as a topic and brings to light the story dynamics involved in that. I think there is still a lot to learn about storytelling and engagement in business, but this gives us a good start.
I wish there had been more focus on listening, too. Implied in Sharlene's book is how transformative stories can be in business. A lot of what she talks about is story at the transactional level -- even when story provides inspiration and meaning. For example -- when a business is really in the story groove, stories have the potential to change both the teller and listener. Story as transformation in business is the next frontier I think.
I could say more, but I'm running out of space. This book is inspirational and a good kick in the pants for bringing story into your core business activities. If you want a great e-book primer on business storytelling, this is it.
If you want to go deeper, dig into the books by Annette Simmons and Steve Denning.
You do have to buy this book. But you can also download a chapter for free. I have absolutely no affiliation with Sharlene other than we are colleagues and both went to grad school at the Univ. of Pennsylvania.
“After studying hundreds of speeches, I've found that the most effective presenters use the same techniques as great storytellers: By reminding people of the status quo and then revealing the path to a better way, they set up a conflict that needs to be resolved.
That tension helps them persuade the audience to adopt a new mindset or behave differently — to move from what is to what could be. And by following Aristotle's three-part story structure (beginning, middle, end), they create a message that's easy to digest, remember, and retell.
Here's how it looks when you chart it out [above]…
These three habits will help you manage your social-media footprint and make you more effective, whether you use the medium for work or pleasure. Here's a functional, easy guide to do just that.
1. The Self Control app limits your use of email and social media, locking you out of designated sites for pre-determined periods, while still giving you broader online access. If you can't stop trolling Facebook to see if your latest update got liked. And if you suffer from both afflictions, ranting anonymously and surfing in dangerous water, this could put you on a much needed time-out.
2. Let's say you're careful about what you post. Very careful. You know about the risks of over-sharing. But, your'e always ready to respond. Always available. That can be exhausting, and exhaustion often leads to irritation, which usually ends with embarrassment.
What to do?
Get off the grid. Knowledge workers should change their always-on mentality and stop answering email after business hours. Why: It improves your mood. Effective workers enjoy what they do.
3. The final habit you should employ could be one of the most important of all. Make sense of all the white noise out there. All the voices. How do we filter it all? Turn to curation, a growing, but misunderstood, concept that can save you tremendous amounts of time directing you to what you need to know.
I like a service called spundge (http://www.spundge.com ), which helps me filter search results so they are more effective, saving me a ton of time. When you're searching for specific, nuanced topics, this site gives you results in an easy-to-digest format that spares me from Google readers and extraneous searches. Now I spend that time on what I should be doing: Working.
This habit I can't stress enough, and it's only getting more refined. The next step in curation is personalization.
Personalization is what Facebook mastered from the get-go. Suddenly, each person's online experience was truly personalized. A company called Gravity (http://www.gravity.com ) is moving this concept further. It uses adaptive artificial-intelligence techniques to make news sites more individually relevant..."
"Over half a century ago, management guru Peter Drucker presented the concept of the knowledge worker. Compared to the manual laborer, the knowledge worker focused on quality over quantity and worked more independently as problem solvers."
Over the many applications of Social Content Curation, Professional Development has been a strong trend. We keep observing it on Scoop.it but it's also been reported by Social Media influencers.
As more and more of us become Knowledge Worker, it should be no suprise that Content takes a growing importance on our Professional lives. So here's our take on it and why we announced this new integration with LinkedIn earlier today.