What's the Story with Story?
If you want to deliver a meaningful, memorable message in your organization, consider delivering it as STORY, not a pep talk, harangue, slide show, case study, or download of data. People respond to and remember story WAY MORE than all of that other stuff.November 27, 2015
The World Is Made of Stories
November 25, 2015
STORYTELLING AT WORK Just Published!
I am happy to announce that my new book, Storytelling at Work, has just been published and is now available, on Amazon, in both paperback and Kindle editions. Whoo! Whoo!
If you believe in the power of storytelling to engage, inspire, and transmit wisdom, this book is for you. The first part of the book is composed of 38 of my own highly entertaining "moment of truth" stories from the front lines of business. The second part is composed of 16 evocative essays on the art and science of storytelling.
If you have enjoyed this blog, you will definitely enjoy this book and also my new Storytelling at Work blog
November 22, 2015
What Kind of Stories Will You Tell?
Here's a story you can probably relate to: You are walking down the street when a friend, coming the other way, stops, looks you in the eye, and asks "Whassup?" It's a question you've heard a thousand times before -- the default, in-the-moment, open-ended salutation.
Your choices are many. You can answer any way you want, from the predictable "Fine, whassup with you?" to an elaborate monologue on any number of topics: the weather, your company's funky benefit plan, the economy, the latest terrorist attack, your aching back and so on.
In that moment, there is no correct answer. You get to choose what to talk about. You get to decide what story to tell. What you DON'T get to decide is the impact your story will have on the other person. That's up to them. But know this: your story will have impact. Everything we say, everything we do has impact, even a seemingly casual moment of passing a person on the street.
If you watch the TV news, you can see this phenomenon playing out daily. With an almost infinite number of topics to report on, TV news is mostly about bad news: war, violence, political unrest, terrorism, famine, corruption, plane crashes, murder, scandal, disease, gossip, and unemployment with an occasional "human interest" story thrown in for good measure so we don't all jump off the same bridge at the same time and screw up their ratings.
68% of Americans believe that TV news broadcasts focuses way too much on bad news and yet we keep tuning in. The impact? Our state of well-being declines. We become sadder, more negative, more hopeless and depressed, exacerbating whatever personal worries and anxieties we already had before tuning in.
I'm not suggesting that news outlets airbrush the negative out of their reports. Nor am I suggesting that they stop reporting on the bad stuff happening around the world. What I'm suggesting is they find more of a middle path and make more of a concerted effort to change the narrative to honor what's good and holy about being alive.
You and I are also news stations. You and I are also reporting on what's going on in the world and in the organizations we work for. Like the TV executives behind the scenes, we also get to decide what stories to tell. That is our moment of truth. That is our broadcast. Will our stories be local versions of the nightly news, skewed to what's bad and wrong, full of gossip and complaint, or will we choose to tell a NEW story, one infused with possibility, progress, insight, awareness, and hope?
JUST PUBLISHED: Storytelling at Work
Available on Amazon (book cover image not uploaded yet)
Storytelling at Work Facebook page
Frequently asked questions about the book
Albert Einstein on the Intuitive Mind
We have created
- Albert EinsteinNovember 19, 2015
The Six Sides of the So-Called Box
There's a lot of talk these days about the need for business people to "get out of the box", but very little talk about what the box actually is. Here's Mitch Ditkoff, President of Idea Champions, deconstructing the box in a 5-minute video.
One way to get out of the box
And a third way
"We're Moving in Another Direction"
If you work for an organization that issues RFPs to consulting companies, I have one humble request for you:
Please cease and desist from using the phrase "we're moving in another direction" when it comes time to letting consultants know you've decided NOT to engage their services. It may seem like a small thing, but it's not.
"We're moving in another direction" is a totally bogus phrase. It's meaningless -- a euphemism with no soul that delivers no useful information or feedback to the person to whom you are supposedly communicating.
If you've asked a consultant to take the time to engage with you, learn about your company, and take the time to submit a proposal, the least you can do is find a more honorable way of delivering your feedback.
You know the phrase "political unrest?" Of course you do. It's all over the news, but just like "We're moving in another direction," it's vaporware -- a watered down representation of the truth.
So... instead of informing consultants that you are "moving in another direction", consider offering them more useful feedback. Everybody wins. You get to speak your truth and they get the kind of honest feedback they need to help grow their business.
Alternative phrases to "We're moving in another direction"?
1. "Your fees were too rich for our blood -- about 30% more than we are willing to pay."
2. "It was obvious, from your proposal, that you didn't fully understand our needs and our culture, so we selected another service provider. Thanks, anyway."
3. "We've decided to do it (the conference/keynote/workshop) ourselves, since we are under very tight budgetary constraints."
4. "We chose someone who lives in our city. Makes sense for us, since we don't have to pay for travel and accommodations."
5. "We've decided to go with a long term consultant of ours who already knows our business and our culture."
6. "Our CEO is only comfortable with professors from Ivy League universities. And besides, he's never heard of you before."
7. "You missed the deadline by 48 hours. We needed the proposal by Friday, but we didn't receive it until the following Monday."
Of course, I realize you "don't want to hurt anyone's feelings" by delivering "bad news" -- but bad news, delivered in an honorable way, is much more preferable than not sharing the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Make sense?November 11, 2015
Lady Gaga Speaks!
Love this! Perfect timing for me to see, as I continually get hit on by companies wanting me to shill for them on this blog. Not gonna do it, folks. This is a commercial-free enterprise. No banner ads. No affiliate links. No hustling for the almighty dollar. Just innovation-sparking content and inspiration. Lady Gaga nails it. Her and Tony Bennett.November 07, 2015
VOICE AMERICA RADIO INTERVIEW with Mitch Ditkoff on Fostering a Culture of Innovation
Here's everything you wanted to know about how to foster a culture of innovation in your organization -- a 56-minute VOICE AMERICA radio interview with Mitch Ditkoff, Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions and the writer of this blog. OK. maybe it's not everything you wanted to know, but at least it's trending in that direction. (Please forgive me for using the word "trending". I don't like that word. It just kind of slipped out).
The main thing? Click the link above and listen to the interview. Good food for thought -- something you might want to forward to you manager or other senior leaders in your company -- especially if they are claiming some interest in the "innovation thing."November 05, 2015
STORYTELLING AT WORK Book Launch Party
November 01, 2015
Great Storytelling Quotes