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Annette Simmons

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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Annette Simmons

Stories with a Moral Blueprint – Part 4 of 8

  Brand Stories: Trust Based on Trustworthy Behaviors Nike has employed corporate storytellers since the 1990s. Their decision to illustrate the “Just Do It” attitude with ads that support NFL star Colin Kaepernick’s decision to call attention to police brutality and racial injustice by kneeling during the National Anthem is an excellent example of supporting

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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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Annette Simmons

Storytelling Moral Survival System: part 12 (suggestions)

Art Your Heart into Storytelling I worry that people who promise to science the shit out of storytelling haven’t been doing it long enough to understand how linear reasoning can ruin the flow of the creative process. Wise mystics used stories precisely to capture life’s mysteries intact, so anyone who promises to de-mystify storytelling needs to

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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

Contrasts, Not Conflicts

 “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”  Groucho Marx Troublemakers erode trust faster than we can build it back right now. Yet, many of these “troubles” are invented conflicts that distort predictably contrasting values. It helps to know what to look for. And once

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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

Read More »
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