Before I share his story—or more specifically, have him share his story—let’s talk briefly about why you want to use stories to help shift someone out of a stuck place.
Karen Dietz's insight:
Colleage David Lee shared this post with me and I think it's great because it reminds us again about how the stories we share in business can help create shifts and changes in people.
Lee shares a situation he had with a client, and how he used a story to help that person shift to a different place and resolve a long-standing issue.
While the post is about a coaching interaction and the power of story, I bet a good number of the busines stories you share have the same ability. Lee makes good points in the article that how stories can create both personal and organizational change.
Lee's post is perfect timing. I've just been re-reading the book "Influencer: The Power to Change Anything" by Kerry Patterson, et al (2008). It's all about storytelling and great stuff.
If you want to read more about how stories can influence people to shift, then read Lee's post. For a deeper dive, dig into "Influencer" (I have no relationship with the authors or their publisher, I just think it's a fab book!).
What sets #university leaders apart from peers in business? Storytelling - @UniofAdelaide's Warren Bebbington http://t.co/iYJpxJhESq
Karen Dietz's insight:
I love this article because it is a terrific story about how a leaderdiscovered the origins of his organization. And then through storytelling ignited excitement and shifted their branding.
His conclusion? Yep -- storytelling is essential for organizational leaders. And I'll add that it's essential for anyone in business.
Another reason I like the article because it is a good example of how someone used storytelling to make a difference and create change. I bet after reading it you'll get ideas for how you can do this too.
Why do marketers revel in military jargon? Must we really rally troops to deploy conquest ads or fire quick hits of bleeding-edge apps?
Karen Dietz's insight:
Now here is a thought-provoking piece on how the language we use to describe our story activities can either constrain us or set us free.
I swear there are days when I experience being in a story war just like Jonah Sachs (Winning the Story Wars) says -- particularly when it comes to politics.
But that metaphor need not apply all the time and this article by Douglas Van Praet is a good counterbalance.
For Van Praet, using the language of war closes down our creativity. Makes sense. In response he has developed a 7-step process on how to inspire change that directly relates to organizational story work. And marketing. And branding. And leadership.
So go read the article and let your creativity flourish!
Businesses invest billions of dollars annually in market research studies developing and testing new ideas by asking consumers questions they simply can’t answer.
Karen Dietz's insight:
Here is a well-written article on cognitive research and its link to behavior change and storytelling.
Whether in business, or as a nonprofit, often we share our stories in order to change behavior. At the lowest level, this is 'buy my stuff.' At the highest level this is about creating greater satisfaction, awareness, and positive social change.
This article explains the 7 steps cognitive research has determined influence our behavior. And these are strikingly similar to storytelling:
1) Interrupt the Pattern -- start with the everyday but then something happens and we are in a different place/situation
2) Create Comfort -- add familiary elements
3) Lead the Imagination -- have a plot plus use visual language
4) Shift the Feeling -- from one state to another, using turning points
5) Satisfy the Critical Mind -- include data
6) Change the Associations -- from undesirable to desirable
7) Take Action -- what do you want people to do?
The author, Douglas Van Praet, also shares examples with us to illustrate his points.
It's an easy yet meaty read and I think you will get a lot out of it.
Yes! Here is a category of business story that is very powerful, yet frequently overlooked.
A future story is critical to have in your repertoire of biz stories -- because they help guide behavior as my colleague and author of this post, Andrew Nemiccolo, points out.
Even more, future stories keep you and your customers focused on what you are creating together -- where the sum is greater than the individual parts. We all want to be part of something bigger that is doing good in the world.
So tap into this desire, find your future story and start telling it. To get you started, Nemiccolo has included some questions that can lead you to your future story that is both authentic and engaging.
I'll include my own here too: "What do your customers want to become? In what ways does your business connect with that?"
Somehow my original review got blown away by computer goblins last night! I know Scoop.it has a new user interface and it looks like they are still working out a few bugs.
So let me tell you why I posted this manifesto -- because it is a great reminder that even our smallest stories have the power to inspire others and change the world. Yes -- change the world.
We often take our stories for granted. We share them in conversation and don't think much of them. But all stories have 'work' to do in the world -- whether they are big hairy audacious stories or quiet little ones.
Print out this poster and keep it handy. It's a terrific reminder of the power of all YOUR stories to make a difference in the world.
I'm curating this because I like it and I don't like it -- and it is worth taking a look at the assumptions going on in this piece so we can get really smart.
This piece was put together by Jonathan Sachs, author of Winning The Story Wars. Sachs comes from the world of marketing and branding and this is reflected in his point of view.
Let's get what I don't like out of the way so I can chat about what I do like. Here is what puts my teeth on edge:
1. Sachs states that "we live in a world that has lost its connection to traditional mythsand we are now trying to find new ones..." Welllllllll, if your slice of reality is the Hollywood, advertising, and branding world it is easy to get sucked into this notion. But we know from Jung, other psychologists, Folklorists, Anthroplogists, and neuroscience how this is not true. There is great irony in this "myth" that Sachs is perpetuating.
2. We are engaged in a war. Hmmmmm. Well, for millenium people have wanted to gain the attention of other people -- so nothing new there. Is this a war? Could be. But if we are wanting to employ the power of storytelling to find solutionsand create change as Sachs advocates, then war does not speak to the greater good but instead speaks to winners and losers where ongoing resentment is inherently built in. That sounds like the perpetuation of war -- same old same old.
3. Sach's relationship to storytelling is still at the transactional level -- I'll tell you a story and you'll do what I want. While what he really wants it seems is storytelling at the transformational level. That requires a different mind-set and different story skills -- deep listening, engagement, story sharing, etc. And he completely ignores the relational level of storytelling.
4.Reliance on the Hero's Journey as the only story archetype to follow. Well, that's a narrow slice of reality and one geared towards youth. Yet other story archetypes are desperately needed: King/Queen, Trickster, Magician for example in order to affect change.
5. As a result, his 10 simple strategies stay at the transactional level with a few geared towards transformation (figure out what you stand for, declare your moral, reveal the moral). Now any great professional storyteller will tell you these that I've mentioned are essential for any compelling storytelling session. So they land in both worlds of transactional and transformational storytelling.
OK -- on to what I do like!
If you want to be heard, you'd better learn to tell better stories.
The solutions to our significant problems these days depends on our ability to tell great stories and inspire people to think differently.
Storytelling does not take long to learn, but it does take a lifetime to master,
Know what a story is and is not
Our abilitiy to disseminate stories is greater now than in the past -- because of technology. That is just a reminder to expend your use of different channels in sharing your stories that are now available to us.
Enough! Go read this piece yourself and decide what you think about it. It's a quick read.
"Change management is the law of life, and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." ~ John F. Kennedy
Most business change management programs fail, but the odds of success can be greatly improved by taking into account– counter intuitive insights about how employees interpret their environment and choose to act, say Carolyn Aiken and Scott Keller.
This article will take some reading (it's not that long) because you will want to savor its insights and contemplate its meaning. It is all about organizational storytelling and successful change management.
Actually these insights could be used for almost any situation where you need to work with other people.
The basic premise is that most org change efforts fail because they try to 'motivate' employees to change instead of letting employees write their own story -- and for leaders to listen more and tell less during change.
The article spends some time on the essential dynamics of why change efforts fail, and offers great pointers on how to shift the tide. And how stories can make the difference.
Enjoy this thoughtful read.
Now -- a word for all bloggers out there. Once again, the author's name is not part of this article. And the 'About' page on this blog is down. So I can't mention this author's name because I don't know it. Neither can I post a comment to let the author know I've curated his article -- because there is no comments form on the blog. Sigh. Take a lesson here folks.
In our experience, it's rare for a diverse group of headstrong Executive Education participants from around the globe to agree on anything. Our research has shown that more and more leaders — from organizations that range from computer-networking giant Cisco Systems to Hindustan Petroleum, a large India-based oil supplier — are using the power of organizational conversation to drive their company forward.
I love this article! Why? Because it reframes leadership, organizational change, and employee engagement as a conversation. Finally!
The authors don't directly mention storytelling, but if you are going to have a meaningful conversation, you know that storytelling is going to be a part of it.
Actually, promoting conversational storytelling is what I've practiced for years in my org development work. And it's a natural for anyone connected into business storytelling.
This notion fits perfectly with the emerging recognition that stories -- and stories told in conversation -- are the path to change, effective leadership, and engagement.
I like the research the authors shared, also. This article lays the foundation for where and how to engage in conversations/storytelling that make a difference. And don't forget to read the comments at the end of the post -- there's lots of good info there, too!
Essentially, the process involves the collection of significant change (SC) stories emanating from the field level, and the systematic selection of the most significant of these stories by panels of designated stakeholders or staff.
OK -- it is not a sexy title and this is not a sexy article -- but it is brief! Plus it shares with us a very cool concept / proceess / references about the technique of MSC to use in organizational change projects and/or project management.
Yippee! Organizational change is hard. The MSC process offers a way to help that along through story sharing. And I really like the collection of resource links to follow for more learning.
And don't forget to read all of the comments, too! Lots more gold there.
There are countless books, articles and papers on change and transformation management. Common for most of them is that their underlying premise is one of top-down management control. I have now come across an entirely different approach.
Change is in the air and oh, how I love this article about a newer model for getting organizational change done -- Viral Change!
When a company starts working with stories, it requires re-thinking current models because the dynamics of storytelling (i.e memory, simulation, conversation, listening, sharing, ethics, etc.) demand different models and implementation strategies.
This article very clearly spells out why most org change efforts fail, and the different thinking/models that we need in order to be successful. That is because stories are key to change success but they won't work as well in our current approaches.
The author discusses the 1) two worlds of change management, 2) a change model focused on behaviors, 3) selecting change agents, and 4) using storytelling.
There is a book cited "Homo Imitans" by Dr. Herrero Leandro -- looks like I'm ordering a new addition to my library!
The most important aspect of folk songs, is that they usually tell a story. The way the story is told reflects on the people who passed the songs on, giving them real history and emotion.
Ahhhh, music to my ears! As a folklorist, I love this article because it shows the dynamic nature of storytelling and folk music. It's a great lesson on longevity, the power of stories and music, and how they both morph through time yet carry still stay the same.
Who are the folk? Well, they are not the romanticized happy peasants in the field. They are you and me. We are the folk, who constantly create stories, music, song, dance, poetry, fashion, craft and a whole host of creative expressions in response to our world. These are just some of the ways we express the human spirit.
While this post deals specifically with music, we make the exact same points about stories. I always laugh when a blog post is all about how storytelling is transforming into something new and unheard of before. I laugh because they don't know history, or folklore, or the dynamic nature of folk traditions, art, or revolution. Read the post and watch the videos to really 'get it.'
Want to spark change? Want to create/support a revolution?Be a folk. Tell a story, sing a song -- just bring universal themes and truths (as expressed in past stories & music) from the past into the present to create the future.
What does this mean for your business?
Read this post to learn more about how stories/music change through time yet remain familiar to us.
Realize that the stories you share today will change and morph through time.
That people change because a story's universal themes connect with them and give them a framework for understanding and taking action.
Connect your business stories to universal human themes (see Bobette Buster's video in this collection under the Tags tab) for greater impact and shareability.
Thank you Gregg Morris @greggvm for this sharing this post!
ooooh, ooooh, ooooh -- here's a piece about storytelling, technology, and 'presentism' that will get you thinking.
Are we experienceing 'narrative collapse'? This is an interivew with Douglas Rushkoff, author of Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now. Rushkoff makes the case that our daily and moment-by-moment interactions with technology are leading to us being always in the present where everything demands our attention and where we are caught up in responding immediately (I probably stated that poorly, but you get the idea).
He goes on to say that this tyranny has some good aspects, and some not so good results. One of them is that our stories are changing.
Over the last few years, when people say to me that storytelling is changing -- that digital storytelling and transmedia storytelling is radically altering stories -- I seriously question the supposition.
Rushkoff is the first one who is making sense about this, and it is the first time that I can say, "Sure, this is happening."
Narrative collapse is when video games and role playing fantasieskeep a story going without ever ending it. There is no conclusion. And TV shows are becoming similar -- where there is no conclusion, there is no real protagonist, and the story line is not building to a climax. Think Game of Thrones or Once Upon A Time. Lots of mini-climaxes and cliff-hangers, but resolution never ever comes. For me it's exhausting and I've stopped watching shows like that.
But there are other points Rushkoff makes about story shifting away from finalizing victories into sustainable experiences. Hmmmm -- you'll have to read the article yourself to form your own opinion. For sure, he presents a very balanced view about "presentism" and narratives chaning, pointing out advantages and disadvantages of both.
For myself, I am much more optimistic. Yes, technology is reshaping how we live. And I think it is also reshaping our brain. But when I canvas the whole of the human experience, I still see stories -- and the human dynamics of storytelling in all their glory -- alive and well.
I still love how this article makes me pause and reflect. There is more to this article too about oppression, dropping out, the difficulty in managing multiple realities, etc. What do YOU think about all of this?
Many thanks to fellow curator Gregg Morris for finding and sharing this!
I love this quick video from org story colleague Shawn Callahan in Australia.
Here he explains about starting a story with a relevance statement -- which properly frames the story and gets the audience engaged.
This is critical to understand for any kind of business storytelling.
And then surprise -- when this video ends it leads right into the next video tip which is NEVER start a story by telling someone you are going to tell them a story. Music to my ears. That's a habit I often need to break with my coaching clients. Callahan explains why.
So go watch these short videos with short tips to really improve your biz storytelling!
My husband recently recounted an organizational change process that he had observed at a European client. Interestingly, it was based upon the story of the ancient ritual of a Viking funeral. In th...
Karen Dietz's insight:
What a great piece (not long) about storytelling and organizational change.
I really like how the author Marla Gottschalk talks about how storytelling can get the ball rolling when an company needs to change. Especially when there is not a critical event 'igniting' the need for change.
I also like how Gottschalk reminds us to honor the past as we embark on change, give the change the deference it deserves (honor what is happening), and add pomp. These 3 points are often forgotten in the rush or push to change.
There are nice insights here that can help us all.
An excellent article in the February issue of Sojourners magazine discusses “leadership storytelling” – or public narrative – as a vehicle for social change. The author of the article, Eboo Patel, founder of the Interfaith Youth ...
Karen Dietz's insight:
I love this article because it points to 3 specific stories that need to be shared in order for social change to happen.
If you are a business or nonprofit focused on making a difference in the world and advocating for social change, these 3 stories are critical to craft and tell.
As the author Cynthia Starks says, the stories need to be:
The story of Self -- why YOU are passionate about this cause. This is the story that most people/organizations ignore. But if people don't know who you are and why you are involved, minimal trust and influence will be built.
The story of Us -- which is a story of inclusiveness. In crafting social change stories, people want to come together in community.
The story of Now -- which is a story that builds urgency and galvanizes action.
This is a quick article with more insights than I shared. So go read it :)
The best way for a leader to persuade people to accept a counterintuitive health message is to craft a compelling narrative.
What a great story and insights this article contains. With lessons for us all in leadership, marketing, and social change.
Here is Kenneth Lin, a leader in public health, who shares his story of resigning his position because of clashing narratives. And his frustration with the truth narrative losing out. But he doesn't give up. He keeps going, and shares his insights about grand narratives, leadership, and perseverence with us.
For example -- are you telling micro or macro narratives? If you are telling micro narratives and expecting social change, it won't happen.
And how do you share a narrative that counters people's beliefswhen those beliefs contain inaccurate assumptions? Every leader and social change agent wants to know the answer to that one.
Lin might not solve all of these problems in this blog post, but his insights about leadership, stories, and social change are worth the read and give us hope when meeting roadblocks.
StoryLab is a new hub for innovation with a big aim: to radically improve public conversation in the U.S. and around the world. Everybody talks about it, but CDS actually knows how to do it.
To change the world, you first have to change the story.
Here is an organization I think everyone should know about -- the Center for Digital Storytelling (CDS). They have been, and continue to provide world-class training in digital storytelling grounded in the power of a story dynamics to make a difference.
They are launching a new project -- StoryLab -- which aims to engage people in changing stories that keep us stuck, limited -- like our political discourse, violence, aids, etc. -- and expressing those stories that eliven and enoble us. Truly great work.
So why am I curating this and what has it got to do with business? Well -- imagine applying these same principles and ideas to the stories you share about your business, engaging your organization in this kind of deep story sharing that changes the world, and engaging with customers to create profound partnerships that make a difference.
Hmmmm -- I think there are lots of opportunities here and StoryLab is showing us the way.
The video on the StoryLab page also mentions supporting the project through donations. That is up to you. I have no affiliation with the Center other than our mutual love of story and its transformative power, and an amazing conversation I had a few years ago with founder Joe Lambert.
IMHO, thank heavens they are doing this project. There are so many others in the field of story that also work with story for transformative change. Let's keep hooking up. It is in this spirit that I bring you StoryLab.
The “burning platform” story has become a permanent part of the organizational change landscape. In this series, I’ll offer some background about how I found and introduced the story, what its original purpose was, how that intention has sometimes been misunderstood, and some of the implications for change practitioners who incorporate the metaphor into their practice.
Here is a thoughtful piece about leadership, change, and 'burning platform' stories to get us started this week.
What is a 'burning platform' story? It is often a story leaders tell to galvanize change in an organization.
Here's are the points I really like about this article:
It is a fabulous example of how stories change -- both for better and worse -- with transmission.
It is a good discussion about how metaphors can be mis-construed.
It is a good reminder about making sure you've got the story right if you are going to repeat it.
It includes two misconceptions about a 'burning platform' story that have ensued in leadership and among consultants.
Hey -- let's get the story straight! Here is your opportunity to learn from the source of the 'burning platform' story Daryl Conner, and to learn about it's real meaning and use.
Just how many types of stories are there, you ask? The answer is, as usual, it depends who you ask. Various storytelling aficionados categorize stories in different ways, and there are no hard and fast rules.
These are overviews of each (read the full article for more details and prompts to help you come up with each type of story):
These 5 broad categories and the examples shared in each are really good and will build a good foundation for leadership storytelling. According to Paul Smith in his forthcoming book on leadership storytelling "Lead With A Story" (August 20112), there are actually 21 different categories/applications for leaders to know about and use.
But this article brings clarity to the topic and will definitely get you started!
Thank you to fellow curator Gimli Goose for this article!
Did you wake up fresh today, a new start, a blank slate with resources and opportunities... or is today yet another day of living out the narrative you've been engaged in for years? For all of us, it's the latter....
Whoa! Here's a wake-up call for us all. Do you feel stuck with your business? Having trouble finding and telling your stories?
Then maybe it's not about 'them' it's about the worn-out narrative you are operating under.
There are words of wisdom for us all in this latest blog post from Seth Godin. Start your Monday off right and ask yourself the questions posed by Seth here. Maybe today is the start of a new story for you and your business.
MarketingProfs guest bloggers Robert Wu of CauseVox and Annie Escobar of ListenIn Pictures share tips for telling stories through videos that draw others into your cause.
I really like how the authors give us categories of stories that inspire listeners to take action. These categories are slighty different than what I typically find, which is why I brought this article into the collection here.
The kinds of stories/videos that work best, for example are:
And plot structures to use?
I know you'll like these easy-to-digest tips so you can start making more impactful videos/stories for your business.
To change the story we have to ask ourselves: Which stories define cultural norms? Where did these stories come from? Whose stories were ignored or erased to create these norms? What new stories can we tell more accurately describe the world we see?
I really really like this article (really :)) because it makes a very subtle, but very HUGE distinction about what happens when people hear stories: "It’s one thing to say ‘reading stories makes us see pictures in our head’...we cannot simply visualize the story on a movie screen in our heads, we must simulate it ... The significance of this study to social change stories is important. It suggests there is no such thing as a passive audience."
Bascially the author discusses recent research that says that not only do listeners hear the story, they reenact it in their heads. In the book Influencer; The Power to Change Anything (2007), the studies those authors discuss say the same thing. That if you want someone to change -- a behavior, attitude, way of doing things -- stories are the second most powerful tool to do that right after direct learning experience.
This is huge -- and is the key to change efforts being successful -- whether it is within a company or in social justice endeavors.
The only thing I wanted more of in this article are more examples. And I want to know more details about the 'narrative power analysis model' the author references.
Other than that, there are many good points in this article, so don't miss it!