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.


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

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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/


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