America’s Next Career Center
Inspiring Life-Long Employability
And They All Lived Happily Ever After!
Using Storytelling as a Tool for Creating Lasting
Value
Presented to:
Alliance for Work-Life Progress’ 2012 Work-Life Forum:
Shaping the Work-Life Story
By:
Mark Guterman
CEO, America’s Next Career Center
America’s Next Career Center
Inspiring Life-Long Employability
Once Upon a Time . . .
America’s Next Career Center
Inspiring Life-Long Employability
Today’s Agenda (page 2)
AM Session:
• Opening: Welcome, Session purpose, agenda, and process; Ice Breaker exercise
• The Power of Storytelling: Types of stories; Elements of compelling stories; Crafting your stories
• Individual and Small Group Exercise: Two responses to a scenario: Your business response
and your storytelling response.
• Using Storytelling to Make the Business Case: Influencing, persuading, balancing the head and
the heart, adapting
PM Session:
• Reconvene: Future Perfect Exercise
• Group Exercise: Developing/practicing stories that lead to lasting value and change
• Closure: Final questions and next steps
America’s Next Career Center
Inspiring Life-Long Employability
Ice Breaker Exercise: Favorite Stories
(page 3)
• Pair up;
• Share two favorite stories: One from childhood and
one from the present--these can be real or fantasy;
• Discuss what makes these stories memorable and
what lessons you take from them.
America’s Next Career Center
Inspiring Life-Long Employability
Types of Stories* (page 4)
• The Origin Story (Transmitting values)
• The Hero/ines’ Story (Communicating who you are)
• The Teaching Story (Sharing knowledge, fostering
teamwork)
• The Fable, Allegory, or Metaphor (Identifying with
something meaningful, branding)
• The Springboard Story (Sparking action, leading
people into the future)
*Adapted from The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling
America’s Next Career Center
Inspiring Life-Long Employability
It was the best of times, it
was the worst of times . . .
America’s Next Career Center
Inspiring Life-Long Employability
. . . it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of
foolishness, it was the epoch of incredulity, it
was the season of light, it was the season of
darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the
winter of despair, we had everything before us,
we had nothing before us, we were all going to
heaven, we were all going the other way.
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
America’s Next Career Center
Inspiring Life-Long Employability
More than anytime in history,
humankind faces a crossroads. One
path leads to despair and utter
hopelessness. The other to extinction.
Let us pray that we have the wisdom
to choose correctly.
Woody Allen
America’s Next Career Center
Inspiring Life-Long Employability
The Springboard Story* (page 5)
• The change idea is clear and worthwhile
• Based on a real situation
• The audience can relate to the protagonist
• The story is specific as to time and place
• The story makes clear what would have happened without the
change idea
• The story is brief and gives minimal detail
• The story has a positive ending
*Adapted from The Springboard
America’s Next Career Center
Inspiring Life-Long Employability
Exercise: Developing a New Work/Life Program
(page 6)
•
Looking ahead to the next year, what new work/life program would be
of value to your organization?
•
Briefly articulate its parameters:
•
•
Who is the target population?
•
What is the scope of the program?
•
What would it take to get it started (time, resources, money)?
•
How will you measure its impact?
Develop two ways to articulate your business case for launching the
program:
1. Your typical/usual way to persuade leadership
2.
•
A story (or stories) to persuade leadership
Share the two versions of your business case with your partner
America’s Next Career Center
Inspiring Life-Long Employability
The work of the change agent
is to lead conversations about
what’s essential and what’s
not.
Adapted from Ronald Heifetz
America’s Next Career Center
Inspiring Life-Long Employability
Making the Business Case (page 7)
• Make your stories simple & elegant
• Your story must be respectful of the culture and the
complexities it presents
• Your story should recognize both the possibilities of unintended
consequences
• Create stories that support short-term impact and long-range
results
• Test, learn, and revise
• Utilize social media, as appropriate, to disseminate your stories
America’s Next Career Center
Inspiring Life-Long Employability
Even if you are on the right
track, you’ll still get run over if
you just sit there.
Will Rogers
America’s Next Career Center
Inspiring Life-Long Employability
Exercise: Future Perfect (page 8)
• Identify a challenging work-life problem or issue
that your organization is facing;
• Imagine a time in the future when the problem
issue has been completely resolved;
• Develop the first several steps of an action plan
that keeps this future perfect picture in mind;
• Share your vision and steps with a partner.
America’s Next Career Center
Inspiring Life-Long Employability
Crafting a Springboard Story (page 9)
Developing Your Story
Brief
Embody the change message
Intelligible
Identify with the protagonist
Interesting
Organization-centric
New understanding
True
Happy ending
Test the story
Performing Your Story
Understand the audience
Non-verbal aspects
Believe in your story
Practice the story
Ready to deliver
Using Visual Aids
Reinforce your message
Help you to stay on track
America’s Next Career Center
Inspiring Life-Long Employability
Exercise: Crafting a Springboard Story
(pages 10 and 11)
• Articulate what a “culture of flexibility” looks like
• Identify the types of work/life programs would add value in this
culture
• Identify the expected outcomes from these programs
• At your table, develop two springboard stories that best
communicate the culture, the programs, and the outcomes.
• Prepare to tell one of the stories by identifying the storyteller(s)
and rehearsing how to present the story
• Present your story
America’s Next Career Center
Inspiring Life-Long Employability
Final Questions (page 12)
• What is driving the need for work/life programs?
• What is the commitment from key stakeholders?
• Where is your organization in the business cycle?
• What other issues need to be addressed in parallel or prior to your work/life
efforts?
• Who will own, champion, and support the process?
• What expertise do you have/need to sustain work/life efforts?
• What infrastructure is in place to support work/life efforts?
• What stories will support and carry your message?
America’s Next Career Center
Inspiring Life-Long Employability
Next Steps (page 13)
• What did you learn in today’s session?
• What will you do to practice what you’ve learned?
• What ideas/thoughts do you have for further
development?
America’s Next Career Center
Inspiring Life-Long Employability
. . . and they all lived
happily ever after!
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Storytelling - Alliance for Work