Author Archive

Why good storytellers are great story-listeners

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —October 29, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

Philosopher and scientist Michael Polanyi, said that “we can know more than we can tell.” When you start to look around for examples of this ineffable or tacit knowledge it’s everywhere: our uncanny ability to recognise faces, how we ride a bike, how an expert judges whether an ancient statue is fake or real. We […]

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Disgust and why we need to test business stories

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —October 21, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

It’s hard to imagine a more embarrassing situation for a teenager. And that teenager was me. Cast your mind back to the 1970s: flared jeans, platform shoes, silk shirts, and skin-tight pants. It was the weekend and my Mum took my dear friend, Mark, and I to the War Memorial in Canberra. I’ve never seen […]

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A small act of leadership humanity

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —October 9, 2014
Filed in Anecdotes, Business storytelling

“The biggest improvements come from small things done consistently over time in strategic places.” — David Allen A company was all travelling together to their yearly retreat in Queensland. The company had grown over the years and was now quite a large number so the management team decided that everyone will travel economy class. They were all booked on […]

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Why leaders should use real-life experiences not fables

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —October 7, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

When we started Anecdote back in 2004 we mainly did culture change projects where we collected stories in an organisation then took people from the company through a facilitated process to help them see the patterns embedded in the anecdotes. Our work was based on the idea that an organisation’s culture is reflected in the […]

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An indicator of group fear in organisations

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —October 2, 2014
Filed in Collaboration, Employee Engagement

Over the years I’ve shown a clever little animation in our workshops to illustrate our propensity to tell ourselves stories when things are ambiguous and unclear. It’s how we make sense of the world. But in running this video, perhaps hundreds of times, I think I’ve discovered another interesting use for it. It seems to give […]

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Why effective leaders are good storytellers

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 30, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling, Leadership

When I run our storytelling for leaders program I like to point out that effective leaders are good storytellers. I say “good” because a leader merely has to share a story or two to set them apart from the rest because most leaders communicate entirely with opinion and lofty abstractions–yawn. A leaders’ message really sticks […]

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How to spot a story – a simple story framework: Infographic

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 26, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

With so much talk about business storytelling you’d think business people were telling more stories. Sadly we see lots of people talking about stories but very few telling them. And quite frankly, you just don’t get the benefits of storytelling unless you are telling a story. Part of the problem is that business people lack […]

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Spanish Storytelling for Leaders

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 23, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling, News

Early this year we appointed two business partners in Mexico, one in Mexico City (Jesus Trejo) and the other in Monterrey (Astrolab). Of course this meant translating our Storytelling for Leaders materials into Spanish. We engaged a professional translator in Mexico City who did a wonderful job understanding the nuances of our work and making the […]

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4 business women show their business storytelling skills

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 5, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

Last year I wrote a post called 9 Video Clips of Business Leaders Sharing Business Stories and it was brought to my attention that 8 of the 9 examples were men. Can we have more examples of business women showing their business storytelling skills? So we hit Youtube and have these examples for you. Please let us know […]

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The best way to improve your storytelling is with feedback

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 2, 2014
Filed in Business storytelling

Last week we had a fun online event with our business partners. Using Soundcloud a bunch of us recorded a story or two and shared it with the group. Then we gave each other feedback on our stories. We used the hashtag #storytelling4leaders in case you’re interested in listening to some of the tales. Here’s one […]

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