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Annette Simmons

Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 3 of 8

  Trustworthiness as Competitive Advantage If morals need stories to thrive, it might also be true that stories need morals to thrive. Technically the stories you tell do not require moral intentions. Yet practical experience teaches us that few of the stories we cherish could possibly be classified as amoral. A story may not portray

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Annette Simmons

Stories with a Moral Blueprint – Part 2 of 8

Meaning Makers Any storyteller can train herself to ensure her stories support meaningful feelings. The first step is to acknowledge the numbers won’t always reflect the emotional payoffs of deferred self-interest. The second step is to decide to do it anyway. This kind of storyteller actively practices meaningful personal strategies that balance the needs of

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book cover of The Cat in the Hat
Annette Simmons

Stories with a Moral Blueprint – Part 1 of 8

The Morals of Our Stories   Dr. Seuss’s story The Cat in the Hat embodies a lesson for any of us who loved this book as a child. In the book, two children alone at home are tempted into mischief by a cat wearing a top hat while their pet goldfish warns them of dire

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Annette Simmons

Storytelling Moral Survival System: Part 15 (suggestions)

Protect Imagination Imagination is a daily practice. Our brains use two forms of memory. One is a procedural memory that supports rational, scientific, left-brain habits. The other is an episodic memory that tracks and records episodes (stories) of experiential learning often discredited as anecdotal evidence. Remembering entire episodes exercises our imaginations as we toggle between

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Annette Simmons

Storytelling Moral Survival System: Part 14 (suggestions)

Question Metrics Technology has evolved from practical magic to mind-blowing magic during my lifetime. While I am deeply grateful that my brain developed without the influence of personal computers, my entire working life progressed through the stages of rapid technological advancement in real time. In the early 1980s, I combed through five- inch thick stacks

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Annette Simmons

Storytelling Moral Survival System: Part 13 (suggestions)

Retain Paradox The optical illusion above demonstrates how a black or white background will cause two identical gray squares to seem different. The gray square against a black background usually seems lighter. Living a more meaningful life may simply be a matter of feeling connected to a bigger circle of moral concern and finding the sweet

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Storyteller’s Confession: My Secret Mission

I’ve been trying to infiltrate the halls of power for decades. My secret mission is to increase the diversity of thought by teaching those without a voice how to tell their stories and by teaching leaders how to find and retell stories that broaden everyone’s understanding.

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 8 of 8

We need a Magic School for Storytellers Thirty years before J. K. Rowling created Harry Potter, Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea series imagined a magic school that taught apprentice sorcerers how to avoid abusing the power of magic. Le Guin points out early in the series that “even to light a candle is to cast a

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 7 of 8

Truth in Storytelling When I wrote the first edition of The Story Factor twenty years ago, I began with the idea that people don’t want more information. They want faith in you and your positive intentions. I never suspected that two decades later we’d be discussing an explosion of stories that intentionally undermine this faith. Without

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 6 of 8

The Moral Dilemmas of a Lion, a Scarecrow, and a Tin Man Frank Baum’s original introduction to The Wizard of Oz, written in 1900, made it clear that he felt children no longer needed the stereotypical “old-time fairy tale” that “may now be classed as ‘historical’ in the children’s library.” Baum claimed the time had

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 5 of 8

  Blueprints for Building Trust Learning to drive was fun until I hit the mailbox. I burst into tears, blaming my dad, “You told me not to brake when turning corners!” It wasn’t my fault that he neglected to clarify I should brake before turning the corner so I could release the brakes while turning

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