Story Pros: Cynthia Kurtz—Finding the narratives

In a world where so many get their start in business storytelling through branding and marketing, Cynthia Kurtz followed a different route in: through science and through work at IBM research. She has pioneered a field she calls Participative Narrative, blending participative story work with action research in organizations.  She’s written an amazingly useful guide to participatory story work, called Working with Stories in Your Community or Organization.

Highlights from the show

  • What is participatory narrative.
  • How Cynthia came into the field from a background in science.
  • How she’s been applying the process in organizations, and coaching others to do the same.
  • What not to do when you ask for stories.
  • How to combine story-seeking approaches and encourage participation.
  • Why you shouldn’t ask people to “tell you a story.”
  • Why story listening is critical and how you can improve yours.

CHECK OUT THE REST OF OUR STORY PROS SERIES WITH LEADING BUSINESS STORYTELLING PROFESSIONALS!

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Click here to listen to episode 79 in iTunes

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And please leave a rating and review!

About my guest

Cynthia F. Kurtz is a researcher, software developer, consultant, and writer who has been helping communities and organizations work with their stories since 1999. Originally an ethologist, Cynthia discovered the field of organizational narrative at IBM Research, where she conducted research projects to help IBM develop internal and client services centered around organizational stories. She built on that work at IBM’s Institute for Knowledge Management and at the consulting firm Cognitive Edge before launching her independent consultancy in 2009. She has consulted on over eighty narrative projects for a variety of clients in government, for-profit, and non-profit sectors. In 2008 she self-published the first edition of her textbook,  Working with Stories in Your Community or Organization. Now in its third edition, the book is widely considered a vital resource for participatory story work. Cynthia lives in upstate New York with her husband and son.

The Show Notes

Check out:Working with Stories in Your Community or Organization or read learn more about Cynthia and read  excerpts here: www.workingwithstories.org/

You can also learn more about participatory narrative at PNI.org.

 

 

Story Pros: Nick Owen—How Metaphor and Story Transform Leadership

 

Nick Owen is passionate about leadership and storytelling.He is author of three best-selling books on story and metaphor and deeply engaged in promoting the concept of ‘the Third Act’: how we can more pro-actively engage with ourselves and our communities in the last third of our lives.

We talk about the power of metaphor and stories for leaders today, especially in times of transition.

 

CHECK OUT THE REST OF OUR STORY PROS SERIES WITH LEADING BUSINESS STORYTELLING PROFESSIONALS!

Highlights from the Show

  • How story can put someone into a trance that helps them become more awake.
  • How Nick used theatre to help people in disadvantaged communities in Tanzania develop their own stories.
  • How organizations can engage more of the regular people who work and want to contribute by listening to them.
  • How asking executives for their stories helped transform how an executive team worked together.
  • Helping leaders shift from report-telling to story-telling.
  • An example of an executive using her own stories and metaphors.
  • “Stories are how we make meaning of everything in our lives. How we communicate what we think we understand.”
  • The power of metaphor.
  • The importance of relevancy.
  • Challenging the myths that are detrimentally shaping our world.
  • We can work on story in three domains: myself, others, and the community/organization/wider world.
  • “A good story is the start of a deep inquiry.”
  • The contribution of theatrical training can make to communication and telling stories.
  • “Storytelling and leadership are performance arts and they need to be embodied.”

Hear the interview with Nick:

Click here to go to the full interview on iTunes (#78))

Click here to listen to episode 78 in iTunes

And if you like the show, please subscribe in iTunes and leave a rating or review!

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And please leave a rating and review!

More about Nick

Nick Owen is passionate about bringing skillful people together to create transformational learning events that deliver effective, long-term change. He has been supporting people, communities, and organizations to envisage and create their ‘stories’ for over 30 years. He has worked with senior executives and managers in some of the world’s largest and most successful companies, and with some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities in Africa, South America, and Asia. He brings a unique combination of experience to bear: the discipline of the arts: as actor, theatre director, writer and storyteller; the discipline of many years working in L & D with corporate organizations and educational institutions; and the physical and mental discipline of elite level sport. He is author of three best-selling books on story and metaphor and deeply engaged in promoting the concept of ‘the Third Act’: how we can more pro-actively engage with ourselves and our communities in the last third of our lives.

The Show Notes

Learn more about Nick at www.nickowen.net and also through his work at www.amara.fi 

 

Story Pros: Doug Lipman—The power of story coaching.

Doug Lipman is a storyteller’s storyteller who has been coaching storytellers for forty years.  He’s author of The Storytelling Coach: How to Listen, Praise, and Bring Out People’s Best and Improving Your Storytelling: Beyond the Basics for All Who Tell Stories In Work or Play.

In this interview, Doug shares some of the secrets he uses to help new storytellers grow their stories, and to help veteran storytellers enliven theirs.

 

 

CHECK OUT THE REST OF OUR STORY PROS SERIES WITH LEADING BUSINESS STORYTELLING PROFESSIONALS!

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Click here to listen to episode 76 in iTunes

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And I really appreciate if you can leave a rating and review!

And I really appreciate if you can leave a rating and review!

About My Guest

Doug Lipman, author, storyteller and authority on storytelling coaching, is popular in the U.S. and abroad as a performer, coach, author, and teacher. Doug’s storytelling grew out of his work as a pre-school and music teacher in the 1970’s. He has been teaching and coaching storytellers since 1979 and, beginning in 1998, has worked extensively in the corporate sector. In addition to his workshops and classes on all aspects of storytelling, Doug has published numerous books and released instructional videos, audiocassettes, and multi-media courses such as the Storytelling Workshop in a Box™.  

Doug has written award-winning books, including The Storytelling Coach: How to Listen, Praise, and Bring Out People’s Best and Improving Your Storytelling: Beyond the Basics for All Who Tell Stories In Work or Play. He also  created innovative educational projects such as the Storytelling Workshop in a Box and the Image Riding Toolkit. Over 150 issues of his storytelling newsletter, eTips from the Storytelling Coach, have gone to thousands of subscribers in more than 65 countries.

 

Quote from the show

“If you want a rose, you can learn all the parts of the rose…but you would know better than to learn the parts of the rose and think that assembling those parts is how you create a rose….And a story is not an object. It’s a set of relational processes.”

“A story seed doesn’t look like a story.”

 

From the Show

How to train people to use stories.

How to go beyond an “assembly-line” approach to building stories – story as a thing that you can manufacture

Why a story is not an object but a series of relational processes.

The importance of generating a story seed before focusing on story structure.

What we should notice are the processes that people have used over the ages to grow stories.

Why we shouldn’t let our stories be limited by comparison and the culture of celebrity-hood.

And listen to Doug’s beautiful rendition of the story of the beggar and the poet. (About 12 minutes and 15 seconds in.)

 

The Show NotesScreen Shot 2016-06-13 at 8.31.06 PM

Find Doug at www.storydynamics.com where he has an amazingly collection of storytelling resources

and check out The Storytelling Coach

 

Story Pros: Kathy Klost-Guest—Create Kick-Ass Marketing with Improv

kathyKathy Klost-Guest is a marketing and communications consultant, a storyteller, an improviser, and an author who just published: Stop Boring Me! How to Create Kick-ass Content, Products and Ideas through the Power of improv.  Through her firm Keeping It Human she helps companies create jargon-free convincing, kick-ass communications

Quotes from the interview:

“Improv will help you see things you didn’t see before…and teach you how to get out of your own way.”

“Improv is not about being funny…it’s about playing it real.”

“Content can be made better even by the smallest little risks that we take…we just have to change one thing.”

Highlights from the Show

  • Why we need to keep our marketing with human-talk.
  • How improv can support marketing, in a very practical way.
  • How Kathy introduces improv into a corporate setting through business problem-solving.
  • How you can use the story spine to craft a story.
  • Why trying out a story is key to developing it.
  • Using mash-ups to un-stick your creativity.  (i.e. “Top five things I learned about leadership…from surfing.”)
  • The importance of creating safety for folks.

 

 Here’s the entire interview:

 

You can also find it on the podcast on Itunes, episode 73 (or her earlier interview which is episode 71)

 

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And I really appreciate if you can leave a rating and review!

About My Guest

Kathy Klotz-Guest, MA, MBA, MLA is a business storyteller, facilitator, and speaker. Founder of Keeping it Human, it’s her mission to help organizations turn jargon-monoxide into compelling stories and uncover boldly creative ideas for marketing. A podcaster and comic improviser, she has written two books on humor, content, and storytelling (The Executive’s Bedtime Guide series) and is the author ofStop Boring Me! How to Create Kick-ass Content, Products and Ideas through the Power of improv. Her work has been published in Convince and Convert, Business of Story, Marketing Profs, and Customer Think. Her 7 year-old is still her favorite audience. 

The Show Notes

Contact her at Kathy@keepingithuman.com. Follow her @kathyklotzguest

Her book: Stop Boring Me! How to Create Kick-ass Content, Products and Ideas through the Power of improv.

Want more? LIsten to her interview from 2016

 

Story Pros: Karen Dietz—Using Storytelling with Big Data and Transformation

 

Karen Dietz returns to the show for an update on business storytelling from a leading expert and top curator in the field. (Listen to our original Story Pros episode # 64 with Karen here.) In this episode, Karen talks about the importance of using storytelling in working with big data and how storytelling can be used for organizational transformation.

Karen  is a 25-year veteran in business storytelling consulting, training, leadership, and organizational development. She’s also the former Executive Director of the National Storytelling Network.

CHECK OUT THE REST OF OUR STORY PROS SERIES WITH LEADING BUSINESS STORYTELLING PROFESSIONALS!

Highlights from the Show

  • The big new trend: Data Storytelling, making sense of big data where leaders want insights from the data not just numbers or graphs.
  • The story of the data has to take the data beyond information into implications for action (whether incremental innovation or wholesale disruption).
  • Three levels of insight from data:  Knowledge insight, understanding insight (how to do the job better), transformative insight to produce wisdom.
  • Find insights first in the data – then create the story.
  • What transformational storytelling represents—and how a story’s meaning can change over time.
  • Elevating storytelling into a reflective practice.
  • Finding resolution in trauma or unhealed stories.
  • How stories are stored in the brain, and how our memories can fire differently in different situations.
  • “Our stories are fluid.”
  • “Storytelling is a pull technology—you pull people into your world. It’s about creating a safe space where everybody can tell their story.”
  • Our lack of trust in leadership has risen to 63%,
  • Stages companies go through as they are bringing storytelling into the organization, moving from a storytelling company to a story-doing company (where the stories match internally and externally).
  • Why one-off storytelling workshops might not work.
  • How business storytelling is more than just crafting a good story.
  • Storytelling 1.0 – transactional – how to craft a story to sell a product; Storytelling 2.0 – relationship – using storytelling to create a meaningful relationship; Storytelling 3.0 – transformational – personal, organizational, community level.
  • Why it’s important to remember ethics of the professional storyteller: do no harm at a time when there’s a lot of manipulation going on.
  • Story listening is key.
  • How leaders and storytellers need to inspire hope.

Hear the interview with Karen:

Click here to go to the full interview on iTunes (#72) or the original interview (#64).

Click here to listen to episode 72 in iTunes

And if you like the show, please subscribe in iTunes and leave a rating or review!

subscribe_in_itunes

And please leave a rating and review!

More about Karen

Karen knows how to combine the science of storytelling with the art of performing to grow stories that inspire, influence and impact an organization’s bottom line.  She’s worked with Disney, Princess Cruises, nonprofits, and entrepreneurs and get this – Disney – one of the biggest storytellers of them all.Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 2.52.42 PM

She received her Masters and PhD from the Department of Folklore at the University of Pennsylvania, where the department and was the most advanced place to study in the field when Karen attended.

John Wiley publishers recruited Karen for their Dummies series. Her how-to book Business Storytelling for Dummies, co-authored with Lori Silverman, combines a conceptual overview with practical examples, steps to take, and useful questions that help you become a masterful story listener as well as a storyteller.  (I vouch personally for its usefulness!)

Karen offers lots of free resources on her website, http://www.juststoryit.com/.  Sign up for her newsletter and receive some great bonus material!  And check out her fabulous Just Story It curation by clicking here: Scoop-it.

The Show Notes

Learn more about Karen at www.juststoryit.com/

 

Story Pros: Kathy Klost-Guest Boost your marketing with improv

kathyKathy Klost-Guest is a marketing and communications consultant who brings her skills in improv and storytelling to help clients cut through dull language and boost their creativity.

Quote from the interview:

“If the team’s not involved in the story they’re telling, there is no story”

Highlights from the Show

Can we learn how to bring humor into our work.

What storytelling can teach us about how to be vulnerable – in a good way.

What improv can teach us about interacting with an audience when we are working a story.

How to introduce a corporate group to improv.

How Kathy brings storytelling to teams.

The difference between a story framework and a story.

How Kathy helps clients get over “corps speak”.

How Kathy works against jargon-monoxide poisoning.

How comedy can give us great examples of truth-speaking.

 Here’s the entire interview:

 

You can also find it on the podcast on Itunes, episode 71

 

subscribe_in_itunes

And I really appreciate if you can leave a rating and review!

About My Guest

Kathy Klotz-Guest, MA, MBA, MLA is a business storyteller, facilitator, and speaker. Founder of Keeping it Human, it’s her mission to help organizations turn jargon-monoxide into compelling stories and uncover boldly creative ideas for marketing. A podcaster and comic improviser, she has written two books on humor, content, and storytelling (The Executive’s Bedtime Guide series) and is the author of an upcoming book on business storytelling and improvisation (2016). Her work has been published in Convince and Convert, Business of Story, Marketing Profs, and Customer Think. Her 7 year-old is still her favorite audience. 

 

The Show Notes

Contact her at Kathy@keepingithuman.com. Follow her @kathyklotzguest