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Annette Simmons

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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Annette Simmons

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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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 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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Annette Simmons

Storytelling Moral Survival System: Part eleven (templates)

  User Experience Stories: As <Persona> I want <What?> so that <Why?> I remember teaching storytelling to Microsoft engineers in the early 2000s and explaining what I thought of as “story thinking” only to be told “no, that’s design thinking!” And it is, sort of. For me story thinking has always been agile enough to

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Popular Posts

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.

Read More »

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

Read More »

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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