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Just Story It! Biz Storytelling
Growing executive's impact, influence and income through the power of business storytelling                  www.juststoryit.com  619-235-0052
Curated by Karen Dietz
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Monica Lewinsky Tells Her Story @ TED: The price of shame

In 1998, says Monica Lewinsky, “I was Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously.” Today, the kind of online publi...
Karen Dietz's insight:

I just watched this powerful video of Monica Lewinsky's TED talk and I was riveted. As she shares bits and pieces of her story, she weaves together what her story can mean for us individually, and as a culture.

Lewinsky bravely touches on storytelling ethics, our gleeful perpetuation of dark stories that lead to great harm, how to use stories to build empathy, and taking control of your own narrative.

The business of storytelling -- and business storytelling -- has an underside. Lewinsky sheds light in the dark and shows us a way home. Watch this video now -- you'll be glad you did. It will make you a far better and more humane storyteller IMHO.

This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it

Miklos Szilagyi's curator insight, March 25, 3:50 PM

Respect... She has done it from a very very deep something from where few could come back...

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The dangers of "willful blindness"--Story, Change, & Empowerment

Gayla Benefield was just doing her job -- until she uncovered an awful secret about her hometown that meant its mortality rate was 80 times higher than anywh...
Karen Dietz's insight:

It is Monday afternoon and after a weekend of R & R it's time for a kick in the pants. It's a triple dose of motivating and encouraging stories/presentations that give us hope about simple things we can do to make a difference in our daily lives, and in the world.

I so appreciate my readers here, and you have told me time and again how much you value quality material that helps you think better, and not junk. So here we go:

Dose #1: Here Margaret Heffeman shares the story of one woman and how she changed the fate of people in Libby, Montana forever. It is a wonderfully inspiring story but that is not the key message behind it. Heffeman's point in sharing the story is about the 'willfull blindness' we find ourselves in these days and what to do about it.

Now why in heavens name would I curate this piece?? Because we in business suffer from 'willfull blindness' all the time. We just don't want to know about some of the stories in our companies or organizations (small or large) -- mostly likely because we don't know what to do about what we hear, or because they are too painful. These are the 'undiscussables' in organizations -- or the elephants in the room. Then along comes Heffeman to burst the bubble that keeps us stuck and helps us take the next steps. Hooray!

Dose # 2: After watching Heffeman's TEDx talk, then click on the link below to take in Marty Kaplan Has “Outrage Envy” And Wants Americans To Take To The Streets
Kaplan, a Media Scholar, sits down with Bill Moyers in this 25 minute piece to remind us that a lot of the stories we hear today are told to keep us compliant and feeling powerless. Shock and awe, I know. It is well worth every minute of your time to listen to this entertaining interview. Need to learn about 'over-storying? This is it and a perfect mirror for Heffeman's talk, bringing some of the same points she makes about a local story out onto the national stage, plus talking about the role of business, and what to do next. Time to wake up!

Dose #3: Here is a 4 minute video http://www.upworthy.com/one-easy-thing-all-white-people-could-do-that-would-make-the-world-a-better-place-5  from www.Upworthy.com that is the story of a Safeway clerk who screwed up big time, and how two women handled it perfectly. It is further proof that one person can have a huge impact. Titled "One Easy Thing All White People Could Do That Would Make The World A Better Place", we learn how any of the priviledges we enjoy can be used and what to do to make lives better simply though the power of questions and words. Awesome! Many thanks to my story buddy and long time friend Patti Christiansen for sharing this video on Facebook.

All of the insights gained from these 3 videos are applicable to your business or organization. And they are applicable to you in your personal life too. When we get discouraged, powerless, or hopeless these videos show us the way. Here are ways you can use the wisdom from these pieces:

  1. To rethink your personal relationship to national issues
  2. To rethink experiences in your business or organization
  3. To take some of the action steps suggested -- field test and refine them
  4. To share the videos in workshops, trainings, classes, with friends and family during get-togethers, and start talking about the wisdom and opinions shared
  5. You may think of other ways to use these pieces

In the end, it's all about trying on a different set of glasses, and felling enlivened, enobled, and hopeful. There is always a way....Looking forward to your feedback.

This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content Just Story It at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it

Karen Dietz's comment, August 29, 2013 9:47 PM
Miklos, you have made fabulous points. Many thanks for sharing them. Our voices may be small, but if we keep sharing, more people will see these. If one person gains benefit from these videos, then the world is a better place already.
ozziegontang's curator insight, August 31, 2013 2:59 PM

No need for me to add anything.  Just view Karen Dietz's curated insights and links to reflect on one's own power.  With Values, if I know what you stand for; I will also know what you won't stand for.

I have been blessed with wonderful peers, mentors and teachers during my 27 years as a Vistage Chair. They  have similar shared Values of: Trust, Caring, Challenge, and Growth. And with these people it has always been based on Dan Ariely's Social Norm the foundation being Trust and Relationship.  See the Youtube: Dan Ariely: The Cost of Social Norms.

Karen Dietz's comment, September 4, 2013 3:15 PM
Thank you Ozzie! You've shared some great additional insights.
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Public Media Reinvents Itself With 'Full-Spectrum' Storytelling

Public Media Reinvents Itself With 'Full-Spectrum' Storytelling | Just Story It! Biz Storytelling | Scoop.it

"While not all agree, let's suppose, for a moment, that we are, in fact, presenting through our contemporary storytelling a relatively narrow range of the American experience. Some of the questions we ought to be asking are, is it enough to maintain the same formats, as we have, and try to entice more/different storytellers? Do we need to expand our awareness in some way to consider more broadly the particulars of this time, this particular space, and who is involved? And, fundamentally, what is it going to take to go further, to do more?"

Now here is a very thought-provoking piece about storytelling in general. I've curated it because the more businesses understand the craft of storytelling, the more effective we can be.

Warning -- there is such rich material here -- along with fabulous video examples to watch -- that you will need to carve out some time to explore everything here.

And hey -- we all live in a culture surrounded by media. It is important to keep up with shifts and changes in technology and its impact on storytelling so we can understand our daily life better -- and the opportunities open to us.  

What is the biggest shift technolgy brings? Ethnographic storytelling. What the heck is that? It is when you put the camera and the storytelling into the hands of people to create and tell their story. Nothing new here -- this was pioneered by Anthropologists Sol Worth & John Adair in the 1972 book Through Navajo Eyes.  The article contains several examples.

What is new is that now technology makes the ability to share our stories very easy and cheap to do -- through a proliferation of channels to share them. THAT is what is getting reinvented -- not the structure of a good story.

And technology is bringing us unique and very creative ways to craft our stories. For example, there's a link within this article to "How the Indie Audio Community Is Transforming Storytelling," This article shares a story where audio is dominant. It is great.

Other examples in the article include Localore -- a project about place-based storytelling.

What do I like about this article and the links to other articles within this piece? It asks essential questions like:

  1. Who gets to tell the story?
  2. Who gets to ask the question that begins the story?
  3. What is the question?

When businesses and organizations start asking themselves these questions FIRST when wanting to tell a digital story, they focus on the story first. Too many people in my experience -- when wanting to tell a digital story -- get caught up in the technology first and end up spending tons of money with unhappy results. Or they think the story will emerge if they just start talking - to be edited down by the videographer into a story -- with the same unhappy results.

So read this article, its links to other articles, explore the digital story examples given, and start figuring out the following:

  1. How can I have my customers share their stories about my organization using ethnographic storytelling?
  2. How can I leverage audio storytelling (see the article for info/examples) beyond radio & podcasts?
  3. How can I leverage location & physical space to share biz stories?
  4. How can I creatively use technology to share biz stories that reflect my/our Unique Voice & Unique Proposition?

I could comment at length on this article and its links. It has taken me awhile to curate this piece because I kept going back and dipping in for more.

So give yourself time to enjoy this creative romp exploring cutting edge electronic storytelling and all the deep insights here!

This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it 

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How To Avoid Getting In Trouble: Ethics and the power of storytelling

How To Avoid Getting In Trouble: Ethics and the power of storytelling | Just Story It! Biz Storytelling | Scoop.it

Mr. Daisey’s stage piece, the powerful response to it, his manipulation of the truth, and what is ultimately his unwillingness to be accountable for deceiving his listeners has me considering the astonishing power of a well told story, the boundaries between truth and fiction, and why storytellers - be they performers, CEOs, textbook writers or parents - need to be mindful of how they say what they say.

I love this post by colleague Laura Parker about the latest dust-up with Ira Glass, This American Life, and monologist Mike Daisy.

The role of the storyteller is critical to understand for anyone sharing their business stories consciously and deliberately. Storytelling is very powerful. It can harm and it can heal. Take your biz storytelling seriously and pay attention to the ethics involved.

If you are looking for an ethics guide for storytelling, you can find one here (#5) http://www.juststoryit.com/howto 

Thank you Laura for helping us understand what went wrong in this situation without scolding, and how to avoid similar situations in the future so we can continue to feel great about sharing our stories!

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Moral Persuasion: Telling a Story – or Selling a Story? | The Hubble

Moral Persuasion: Telling a Story – or Selling a Story? | The Hubble | Just Story It! Biz Storytelling | Scoop.it
Moral Persuasion: Telling a Story – or Selling a Story? This blog post originally appeared on StoryFountain.WordPress.com. Richard House is a member of the Hub community and has chosen to republish his content with the ...

The vagaries of using stories in business sometimes escapes us.  But there are very real ethical and moral dilemmas to engaging in business storytelling.

It is always better to be aware of these dilemmas up front so we don't accidentally crash and burn.

I really like this article because it addresses some of these issues head in on a very thoughtful way.  I hope the author's comments/insights will give us all pause, and help us think better about our work, and be greater ethical and moral storytellers as a result.

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Thaler Pekar’s Ethical StorySharing RoundUp

Thaler Pekar’s Ethical StorySharing RoundUp | Just Story It! Biz Storytelling | Scoop.it
Exhale is a community of people with personal abortion experiences and when it comes to storysharing, we advocate that: 1) women who have had abortions must have the ability to control their own narratives in our public discourse; and 2) that we must have authority and decision-making over when and how our stories are used by advocates.


Even though the topic of abortion activates many people, Thaler Pekar's points about how to ethically work with stories in any environment, including business, are right on.  


Didn't know there were ethical considerations with business storytelling?  Then read on to learn how to stay out of the weeds.  This article is chock full of wisdom that you won't want to miss.

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Copyright Fair Use & How it Works for Both Images & Your Biz Stories

Copyright Fair Use & How it Works for Both Images & Your Biz Stories | Just Story It! Biz Storytelling | Scoop.it
Copyright of images: What you need to know about publishing photos, images and videos online to make good decisions on fair use and avoid legal actions.
Karen Dietz's insight:

To help you stay on the straight and narrow, here is a handy guide for how to work with copyrights and fair use. Knowing the ins-and-outs of this topic is critical for both the stories you are telling, and the images you are using with your stories.

This weekend I was taking a workshop with the amazing storyteller Susan Klein. We had a lively discussion about storytelling. And we all shared experiences of telling a personal story and then sometime later being in the audience where the person on stage told OUR personal story as if it was theirs, without attribution. Bad bad bad.

So knowing the ethics around business storytelling (http://www.juststoryit.com/story-resources.htm), along with copyright and fair use will keep you out of trouble. Keept this guide handy!

This was review written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling atwww.scoop.it/t/just-story-it 

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Ethical Storysharing: My Words, Not My Story : Video For Change

Ethical Storysharing: My Words, Not My Story : Video For Change | Just Story It! Biz Storytelling | Scoop.it
Our colleague Aspen Baker with Exhale shares her experiences and views on ethical #storytelling. http://t.co/lW8xz3BM #digitalstorytelling
Karen Dietz's insight:

Now here is a very powerful article about how a story, once it leaves our lips, can be co-opted, changed, and used to divide -- all counter to the original message of the story.

Truly there are significant ethics involved in story sharing -- especially for nonprofits, and with for-profit businesses also. 

Many social issues are emotionally charged. That's the case here where the topic is abortion. Same with guns, drugs, violence, hunger, etc.

Look beyond the abortion topic here and really hear the message about story sharing ethics.

When nonprofits share the stories of those they serve -- or highlight a social problem -- ethics become critically important.

When businesses share employee or customer stories and do not pay attention to the ethics of story sharing, they are in for a backlash.

To download a free ethical guide for storytelling, go to my website at http://www.juststoryit.com/story-resources.htm and scroll down the page to download #5

Be an ethical story sharer. Do the right thing.

This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling atwww.scoop.it/t/just-story-it 

Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, January 5, 2013 10:21 AM

Sharing stories, listening, while allowing others to express how they see things is a powerfully connective tool we so often forget. 

Karen Dietz's comment, January 7, 2013 4:52 PM
That is so true Monica! I love playing with listening activities so I can be more aware of my surroundings, and more aware of what people are really trying to tell me. And of course marketing without listening is just broadcasting, which won't take you very far!
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When Good Storytelling Goes Bad - Biz Myth Busted!

When Good Storytelling Goes Bad  - Biz Myth Busted! | Just Story It! Biz Storytelling | Scoop.it

What we discovered was that neither the Yale nor the Harvard study actually exists. There is no evidence that the studies took place and no papers were ever published. Yet the "goal-setting to-money" study is a particularly imperishable business myth that has circulated for several decades. It persists despite sound debunking efforts on the part of entities such as Fast Company, which conducted an in-depth investigation of the myth in 1996.

Here's an interesting piece about phantom research, business mythology, and evaluating the research stories we hear.

It's a good and interesting read -- not so much about being skeptical, but questioning and thinking carefully about research that is presented to us, particularly when it is imbedded within a story.

No question -- it's a tricky dance. The best way to convey data is through a story -- doing so builds trust credibility, believability, and emotional connection. The easiest way to manipulate and skew research is through the stories you tell about it. 

What to do? Obviously for the teller it is to represent the research accurately.  In presentations when I talk about story research, I always offer the original research up for review for any listener who wants it.

For the listener, it's to check the research you hear about. Don't accept it unquestioningly. Ask for the original document.

Now go read the article to discover what popular biz myth was busted!

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The Future Of Ethics In [Story] Branding | Fast Company

The Future Of Ethics In [Story] Branding | Fast Company | Just Story It! Biz Storytelling | Scoop.it

As a brand guy who’s worked in advertising all my life, I’ve seen my fair share of ethical issues. To be frank, ethics and advertising don’t go together all that well. Training for a career in advertising commonly happens on the job, and the ethical guidelines are filed away somewhere in legal departments’ archived rules and restrictions.

OK -- heady stuff for a Tuesday morning. And who wants to really wrestle with tough ethical issues when it is just a lot more fun to barrell on along in our work.

But at some point, we do need to pause and reflect on the ethical implications of our work.

I included this article because it is a lone voice in the wilderness in the wild and wooly world of story branding. As more and more ad agencies, brand specialists, and marketers incorporate stories and story dynamics in their work to increase engagement, interaction and loyalty, ethical issues arise.

This post is actually a quick read, and I like the 10 guidelines he offers. They dovetail nicely with the Story Ethics Guidelines available as a free download on my site (Article #5 http://www.juststoryit.com/howto).

Of the 10 guidelines in this post, numbers 2, 4, and 5 relate most directly to using stories. #2 is about permissions, #4 is about being transparent/authentic, and #5 is about being vulnerable.

Good points all.

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The Ethics of Business Storytelling -- Free Guide

The Ethics of Business Storytelling -- Free Guide | Just Story It! Biz Storytelling | Scoop.it

As promised, I've posted my ethical guidelines for business storytelling on my site and it is now available for free download.


We often forget, or are not aware that there are ethical considerations that come into play at times when we are sharing business stories.


Don't stray into troubled waters.  And many thanks to my colleagues who contributed to this ethics document.

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