Story Pros: David Hutchens—Using stories to help organizations learn

by | Feb 25, 2017 | Podcast | 0 comments

screen-shot-2016-02-01-at-12-11-33-pm-e1454357592204-250x250Best selling author David Hutchens, author of The Circle of the 9 Muses talks about how storytelling in business supports learning and meaning-making.

In this interview, we talk about some of the processes and practices used by leading organizational story practitioners highlighted in the book.

And, we talk about things near and dear to my heart – helping organizations learn and empowering people’s voices in organizations, communities and groups by recognizing and appreciating their stories.


Here’s the entire interview:


You can also find it on the podcast on Itunes, episode 69



And please leave a rating and review!

About My Guest

David Hutchens is a bestselling author, business writer and learning designer who creates communication solutions for The Coca-Cola Company, Wal-Mart, IBM, GE, Nike, Bank of America, and others. He served as chairman of Storytelling in Organizations, a special interest group of the globally renowned National Storytelling Network.

He speaks to organizations and leadership teams all around the world on the topic of storytelling as an organizational capacity.  His new book is “Circle of the 9 Muses: A Storytelling Field Guide for Innovators and Meaning Makers,”  Wiley & Sons 2015

He is creator of the Learning Fables — a book series that uses narrative and metaphor to illustrate principles of organizational learning. With titles that include “Outlearning the Wolves” and “Shadows of the Neanderthal,” the popular business fables have sold more than a quarter-million copies in over a dozen languages.

He is author of the book “A Slice of Trust: The Leadership Secret with the Hot & Fruity Filling,” which features a foreword by Stephen M.R. Covey.

In partnership with The Conference Board, he is creator and lead facilitator of The Team USA Leadership Experience, at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado springs; and he also facilitates The Apollo Leadership Experience at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

A nationally recognized developer of innovative learning products, David’s work has been recognized with distinctions such as Training & Development’s “Training Product of the Year” award; ASTD’s prestigious “Excellence in Practice” award; Brandon Hall Gold award, and more.

David’s newest product is “GO Team: Powering Teams to Perform,” a just-in-time team training resource. GO Team’s library of 18 team-related topics allows you to build your own learning agenda tailored to your team’s needs.

Quotes from the interview:

“There’s a geography of meaning when a story is told, there is meaning all around that story. There’s the meaning that you bring with you. As the teller, there’s the meaning inside the story – the text – and then there’s the meaning that’s in front of the story [the connections that people draw from the story that get drawn out in dialogue.]”

From the Show

  • How there is a geography of meaning around a story.
  • The relationship of storytelling to organizational learning.
  • An example of “twice told stories” – a very useful tool (as I can vouch for!) for pulling stories from groups.
  • The power of listening for stories that have not yet been received by a group (i.e. from the margins) but may include great gifts for the group.

The Show NotesScreen Shot 2016-02-01 at 11.50.11 AM

David’s book: Circle of the 9 Muses: A Storytelling Field Guide for Innovators and Meaning Makers

David’s website:


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