Frequently Asked Questions About Storytelling at Work
1. WHO IS THIS BOOK FOR?
Anyone interested in the power of personal storytelling to awaken, inspire, and communicate a meaningful, memorable message -- especially around "moments of truth" on the job. It's also for forward-thinking business leaders who want to elevate the conversation in the workplace and radically increase the odds of peer-to-peer learning happening on a daily basis.
2. WHY IS THIS BOOK TIMELY?
Because the story being told, these days, is predominantly bad news. Terrorism, war, greed, corruption, political infighting, and corporate collapse rule the airways. But something else is also happening and that "something else" too often remains unspoken -- individual stories of insight, breakthrough, kindness, courage, innovation, learning, and wisdom. The more these stories are told, the faster the world's story will change. As the poet Muriel Rukeyser once said, "The world is not made of atoms. The world is made of stories."
3. WHY IS STORYTELLING SO POWERFUL?
For the same reason why the sun is powerful. It sheds light, gives warmth, and sustains life. Storytelling is the simplest, most direct way to deliver a meaningful, memorable message. Deconstruct any scripture or holy book and you will discover that story is the DNA. Story is how our ancestors, since the beginning of time, communicated their wisdom. And story is how we teach our children. In the business world, where "time is money", storytelling is the most cost-effective way to cut to the chase.
4. WHY DID YOU WRITE THIS BOOK?
Because after 27 years of being an innovation provocateur to a wide variety of Fortune 500, mid-sized, and small companies, I realized that the most effective way to spark the innovation mindset was to tell stories. And while there is always a place for case studies, data dumps, pep talks, and PowerPoint shows, it is storytelling, I have discovered, that gets to the heart of the matter in the least amount of time.
5. HOW DOES STORYTELLING SPARK INNOVATION?
Innovation only happens when a critical mass of inspired, committed people go beyond the status quo in a sustained way. For this to happen, their minds need to be open and their ability to translate thought into action needs to be fully functioning. Story is the fuel for this creative fire -- the direct transmission of soulful soundbytes of wisdom that change individual behavior and, by extension, entire company cultures.
6. I'VE GOT A BUSINESS TO RUN. HOW CAN STORYTELLING IMPROVE MY BOTTOM LINE?
I've got a business to run, too. But all businesses, whether they are Fortune 500 companies or start-ups require an engaged workforce. One of the simplest ways to engage your workforce is to give them vital opportunities to inspire each other. And the simplest way to do that is to encourage them to share their life changing insights via personal story telling. Instead of breaking the bank to bring in "the experts", allow your people to share their deep expertise with each other. Where is their expertise hiding? In their stories -- in the rarely spoken moments of truth that happen to them on the job.
7. HOW CAN MY COMPANY LEVERAGE THE POWER OF STORYTELLING?
Simple. Launch Wisdom Circles, lightly facilitated small group gatherings where open-minded people get a chance to share their insights, best practices, and wisdom with each other. Facilitating Wisdom Circles is easily learned via onsite or online training. 90 minutes is all an aspiring Wisdom Circle facilitator needs to get in the zone.
8. CAN YOU GIVE ME SOME EXAMPLES OF WHAT YOU MEAN BY MOMENT OF TRUTH STORIES?
I'm From Woodstock. Yes, I Am!
The Afghan Cab Driver
It All Began With Balls
Follow Your Feeling, Not the Money Trail
The Uptown Beggar
The Brilliant Complaint Department
Real Moments of Truth on the Job
9. WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING ABOUT YOUR BOOK?
"I truly LOVE this book! The last time I read anything this good was Robert Fulghum's All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, and that was 25 years ago! With Storytelling At Work, Mitch Ditkoff has delivered a modern classic on how to communicate with wisdom. Kudos!" -- Rowan Gibson, author of The Four Lenses of Innovation
"Mitch Ditkoff's powerfully written book shows us how storytelling, well done, humanizes the world of work. But even more than that, it helps us pause, go beyond convention, and tune into the deep well of timeless wisdom within." -- Tim Gallwey, Author of The Inner Game of Tennis
"Storytelling at Work is filled with Eureka moments that will spark your creativity and ignite your motivation. Mitch Ditkoff has a magical ability to elevate the routine work of everyday life. Original and deeply insightful!" -- Marshall Goldsmith, author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal #1 Best Seller, Triggers
"Mitch's storytelling reminds us that the truth is rarely in the bottom right corner of an Excel spreadsheet. It's already inside of us." - Jon Bidwell, Chief Innovation Officer, Chubb Insurance
"Mitch Ditkoff is a master storyteller, weaving tales that not only draw you in, but invite you to see the world with wider eyes. This gem of a book lovingly inspires us to step a little more bravely outside our box." - Susan Stiffleman, Author of Parenting with Presence
The Storytelling at Work workshop
Sparking Innovation with storytelling
MY FORTHCOMING BOOK: Storytelling for the Revolution
Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at April 17, 2017 02:51 PM
Agree 100% - there is nothing as powerful as storytelling - I think it connects with something internal within all of us - touching a chord a simple exchange of information cannot duplicate. People remember stories, and they retell the good ones. Kind of the whole idea behind viral marketing.
Posted by: thinkfuture at October 3, 2015 01:08 PM
Thanks for publishing such useful information.
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