Tiger Schmittendorf shares childhood memories of the fire service and emphasizes the value and importance of storytelling as a means of helping firefighters recall and regain their passion for the job.
Karen Dietz's insight:
This article might sound like it is all about how to use stories to bring in volunteers for your non-profit.
And in an oblique way, it is about that.
But what this article really focuses on is how crucial storytelling is to the transfer of knowledge and the health of an organization or profession.
It's an engaging article with a terrific story to tell. And lessons for us all as our business grows and adds employees. Or for those in enterprises who need to continually focus on the best ways to transfer knowledge and skills from one person/group to another or one generation to another.
I like the advice and tips shared here. And the article can be used as an example when talking with clients about storytelling and knowledge transfer.
Elaine Baker looks straight into the video camera and tells her story. Elaine is the owner of Paper Potpourri in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Her stationery boutique specializes in invitations …
Karen Dietz's insight:
Here author and story practitioner David Lee tackles how to connect employees and customers around storytelling to build engagement,enhance customer service, and build both branding and corporate culture efforts.
Like David's previous article on employee orientation and storytelling, articlesabout the specifics (not platitudes) of how to link customers and employee together so stories are generated are few and far between.
There are both good insights and good tips here. Particularly about addressing the common 'line of sight' problem. Enjoy!
Company's live a never-ending story: I've got to re-engage my teams. They have that story because of a never-ending problem. No, two: Engagement wears.
Karen Dietz's insight:
I absolutely love this article on how leaders need to reframe their storytelling to be true leaders -- not just people with authority.
The author, Dean Hyers, does a fabulous job at explaining where leaders go wrong with storytelling and provides plenty of examples for how to do it right.
The secret? YOU are not who the story is about. The story instead is about others and those in your company. Hyers explains very well how to make the shift.
Now I will say -- don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Sometimes leaders DO need to share their personal stories. In the end, it's about knowing the dance between a leader sharing his/her personal stories and sharing stories about others.
This article helps correct the imbalance I see in leadership storytelling so we can all dance better together.
Staff induction programs are one of the great missed opportunities in most organisations. It’s time to think about why we do them, what we hope to achieve and even the word we use to describe the process...
The first formal meeting with new employees is also our first chance to hear their story, identify their strengths and invite them to be an engaged part of our team. There are many creative ways to bring some zing using resources and approaches that will be useful across other areas of your Learning and Development programs, Internal Communications and the business generally. It is also the first opportunity to set the tone of your communication and assure new team members that you WANT to be understood with REAL language and accessible ideas.
Via Gregg Morris
Karen Dietz's insight:
Thank you Gregg Morris @greggvm for finding and sharing this post!
For corporations, one of the best places for sharing your stories is during employee on-boarding programs.
This article shares some creative ways to get new employees oriented by no only sharing the company's stories, but also inviting their stories in return.
Tell me if you’ve heard this one before – you’re on a project that was thrust on your stakeholder groups from high above. They were insufficiently consulted during the problem definition phase, and they are now questioning everything during implementation. These stakeholders can’t get the project to be outright cancelled, but they can cause it to be ultimately unsuccessful if they don’t commit to putting their time and energy into ensuring that the solution being developed is appropriately used.
Sound familiar? It sure does to me!
So what is a leader, manager, consultant to do? Add stories into the mix.
I like this article because it directly addresses the difficulties of project management, enrolling people to your cause, and how stories can be one of the remedies applied.
The author includes 3 steps to shift the situation and get your projects back on track. If you are stuck -- read this.
And if you consult with others, tuck this list in your back pocket to keep your clients & project on track.
One creative and immediately available way to develop your staff outside the training classroom and “outside the box” is to turn them into what I call...
What a great article that's also a quick read. Here the author gives 6 creative ideas for how employees can capture stories within your organization to keep a constant stream of stories coming in.
This is what I call 'sustainable storytelling.' A ton of focus these days is on crafting and sharing your biz stories for marketing, branding, sales, etc. Read some articles, take some workshops, and you are all set.
But what is mostly ignored is how to imbed storytelling as a core competence within your business. For storytelling and story sharing to be a core competence, there must be processes and structures in place to bring you a constant stream of stories to listen to, craft, and share.
This article has some great ideas -- and they sound like fun, too. I hope this gets you thinking about different ways to continue to capture stories for your organization!
A story provides context; it transports the listener to a different place. Instead of discussing the facts about a topic, a story can transport a learner into an environment where those facts are actually being applied. Stories give meaning and context to what otherwise might just be information.
Whether you are an entreprenuer, business owner, or senior executive, you are constantly educating your clients/customers and staff.
Almost every single business I work with we end up working on using stories to educate staff about best practices and change, and/or using stories to educate consumers/clients on how to best use their products or services. This is always the crux of the matter -- the whole reason for our working together.
CEO should stand for 'Chief Educating Officer.'
If we use the lense of 'education' and 'learning' to view our business activities, the case for storytelling becomes obvious -- because using stories to transfer knowledge and wisdom is the best tool avaible.
I like this article because it helps connect the dots between learning and storytelling in ways that allow us to take business stories out of the training room. Especially when the author makes the point that "There are lots of ways to incorporate storytelling into learning, and it’s not always ‘telling a story’. Many times, the stories we need for those activities are available from the learners [customers, clients, staff] themselves."
When we shift our thinking about our businss function being one of education and learning, you open up a world of possibilities for biz storytelling.
Here's a short post that gets you thinking about how knowledge moves through your organization via storytelling. The author then advocates putting a process in place to capture employee stories. Many of the comments left on the blog are helpful also.
Of course, the post brings into play the question of ethics -- who owns the employee's story, gaining permissions to share the story, etc. I'll post my ethics guide to business storytelling next.
In the meantime, read the article and start getting ideas for highlighting employee stories and gaining a host of benefits.
That is one of THE most important messages your new employee orientation program should communicate.
Karen Dietz's insight:
The author David Lee does a great job here explaining not only why stories should be used during employee orientation trainings, but which stories will lead to participants having a successful experience.
And begin to build pride in the company they have just joined, and increase their personal integrity.
Orienting new employees to the company is one of the place where all great corporate storytelling begins -- yet is mostly underutilized or ignored.
So Lee gives us both a reminder to not forget this area for applying business storytelling, and tips for which stories to tell.
Who tell stories to the outside world about the heart and soul of a company and what it's really like? Employees are among an organization's greatest brand champions. If employees aren't happy, customers won't be, either.
I love this quick piece by Kathy Klotz-Guest full of sound wisdom. You can't tell effective biz stories in the marketplace if the culture of your company culture contradicts your stories. Why? Because stories build trust and if you are not 'walking your talk' you can't build trust.
The story shared in this post is a gem and perfectly illustrates the point of the article. I am sure I will be sharing this with my corporate clients so they really 'get it.'
It's great when marketing comes up with fab stories to share about the company's products/services. But the BEST kind of stories come from employees themselves. That's why the best business storytelling is from the 'inside out' as this article advocates.
No matter if you are a micro-entrepreneur or a mega enterprise -- the inside and outside gotta match.
Well of course, that begs the next question: how do we gather employee stories? I recommend getting a firm grasp of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) as a process and tool to help you evoke those stories. If you are a solo-preneur, asking yourself AI questions can be very illuminating. As an enteprise, AI will have casdacing positive effects on your culture. Google AI and you will be deluged with resources.
So get busy making sure your inside and outside stories match for the best biz storytelling experiences that lead to consistent growth and raving fans.
Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.
OMG -- what an amazing video! It is about 12 minutes long -- and eloquent plus thought-provoking. It is inspiring and heartfelt. I know this will feed you well.
Here is how to view it through the lense of small business, enterprises, non-profit work, or social cause entrepreneurship:
There is not one story, but multiple stories of different people that together create or organization -- whether you are a sole proprietor, nonprofit or a multinational corporation. You would think that is obvious, but I can't tell you how frequently people come to me for their 'story' -- their one, defining story. But thinking that way is dangerous and extremely limiting -- and untimately not successful as this Chimamanda explains. There are your stories, stories of customers, stories of partners, stories of staff, stories of stakeholders, etc...
The tone of today's marketing/branding efforts reflects more the shallowness of story instead of its depth. Depth comes from the many stories, not the 'one'. We instead must engage with ALL the stories otherwise we rob people of their dignity, respect and humanity. That thievery does not create meaningful relationships -- and we are all in the age of relationship building/sustaining if you haven't figured that out yet.
Over-storying happens all the time -- to silence different voices for the sake of efficiency. The result? Stereotypes that while true, are woefully incomplete. This ultimately creates an inability to reach and engage with more people/markets in your business.
Stories in organizations and public life can be used to dispossess and malign (our current political climate?) or to bring together and empower. There are dangers in storytelling -- yes, even in business -- and care must be taken so we hear and can operate from a balance of stories for the health and well-being of the organization.
In the end, your success in working with stories for engagement, connection and meaningful relationship is all about awareness, intent, and deep listening -- and getting really smart about the power of storytelling. Enjoy watching this video about the depth, richness, and beauty of storytelling that will help you truly engage with those around you.
As Chimamanda says at the end, reject the single story and regain a kind of paradise.
Many thanks to Gregg Morris who originally curated this for his Story and Narrative scoop.it.
Everything you need to know about how to host truly unique storytelling parties. With storytelling ideas, storytelling kits, seasonal party ideas.
Hey --it's Sunday and a perfect day to relax and plan for summer fun!
I ran across this article that has nothing to do with business storytelling but is a treat nontheless -- Plan a storytelling party! It sure will to build storytelling skills plus learn amazing things while having a good time with friends and family.
On this website there is everything you need to know to throw a successful party.
Now if you really wanted to apply this to your organization, use all the ideas and suggestions here, just shift the topics to fit your needs. Throw a storytelling party for employees!Throw a storytelling party for customers! Just remember to keep having fun :)
Internal Communications can be defined in a number of ways; but the primary objective of the function should be to share your organisational narrative with employees, and facilitate and encourage c...
I like this article about internal organizational story sharing because it is all about focusing on listening to, and validating, the voices of your staff. So often companies forget that organizational storytelling is not just simply telling your story to the outside world. It is also about carefully nurturing, crafting, and sharing the stories being told within your organization.
There are good insights and tips in this article that will give you solid ideas of what you can do to get started immediately.
My clients are just like yours: They want to Skype, email and text. But here's why you still need face time.
This article is indirectly about story sharing, yet it is a terrific reminder in this age of texting and Skypeing that meeting in person is invaluable and still the richest communication channel we have.
Want to make an impression? What to gain understanding about your prospect or customer on multiple levels? Want to reach a depth of relationship with them? Want to hear their stories and have an opportunity to share yours in more meaningful ways? (That's the tip I would add to make the list 6 in number.)
Then carve out time to meet in person. Take the 5 reasons listed here to heart and gain more business!
The key to finding success in storytelling is that you must be willing to share yourself with others. Learning to do this may be very difficult. Learn four storytelling techniques to accomplish this feat and build your new business.
What a nifty article about biz storytelling with a slightly different twist -- how to you and employees create stories to use when you are just starting out in your business.
I really like the 4 techniques the author shares for finding stories, and the story he shares as an example at the end. If you have employees or not, you will get some valuable tips/ideas here to use.