Episode #2: Karen Dietz

Karen DietzKaren is the best curator of articles about successful storytelling I know.  We go back a long way.  She and I met in the world of traditional tellers “back in the day.”  Today she has a finger on the pulse of business storytelling.  In fact, Karen Dietz and Lori Silverman have written a new book: Business Storytelling for Dummies that comes out November of 2013.

Karen suggests we forget the word “storytelling” and think instead in terms of story-sharing.

Because then, it “becomes a process of thinking, listening, understanding and meaning-making.” We talk about the practice of storytelling and how this practice changes the teller once you add reflection to your process. She isn’t interested in clients who just want a jolt of storytelling by investing in a workshop without any follow up work because when a client is ready to invest in story “for the long haul” they get the full benefit.

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Karen points out that when we create a culture of story sharing we help an organization reap the returns that come from a network of rich information and meaning that fills in the blanks created by statistics and measurements.  She causes me to reflect that I am the worst when it comes to offering a “jolt of storytelling” by agreeing to do one workshop and moving on.  I am not telling the whole  story when I do that.  Karen is good – that’s valuable information for me!  It is a pain in my neck to deal with, but that’s what learning feels like sometimes.

We discuss a quote from Karen’s excellent website www.JustStoryIt.com:

“People don’t resist change, they resist being changed.”               Peter Senge

She explains how one story consultant managed to botch the process to the point executives referred to the process by saying “We’ve been storied.”  Introducing story to an organization is a multi-faceted application with results that can improve every point of communication as well as enrich the creative problem solving capacity of work groups.

“We’ve been storied.”

When story sharing is collaborative and constant we create a more mindful organization embedding reflection and awareness that helps find opportunities and avoid problems.

Karen uses art to capture and remind people of the art part of our stories she describes as “art in the air.”

Best tool: Don’t ask for a story, but ask “Tell me about a time when…”

Look for Karen Dietz on ScoopIt.com who profiled her recently in their “Lord of Curation” series. You can see her interview about curation here.

Part two of my converstaion with Karen Dietz will be published on October 30, 2013. If you sign up below I’ll send you this and future episodes of The Story Factor Podcast.

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Feed link:  http://ia801003.us.archive.org/35/items/StoryFactorPodcast002/StoryFactorPodcast002.mp3


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