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Stories for Work

The Essential Guide to Business Storytelling

By Gabrielle Dolan
16-minute read
Audio available
Stories for Work: The Essential Guide to Business Storytelling by Gabrielle Dolan

In Stories for Work (2017), Gabrielle Dolan explains the effectiveness of a powerful story, and how business professionals can harness this tool to communicate ideas, motivate employees, persuade clients and achieve goals. Dolan walks you through practical advice on coming up with your own stories, and how to apply them to a range of business scenarios.

  • Anyone who wants to sharpen their communication skills
  • People curious about the power of storytelling
  • Professionals in “people-facing” roles

Gabrielle Dolan is an author, educator and keynote speaker specializing in authentic leadership and compelling storytelling. She has an MBA in management and leadership, and is the author of five books including the best-selling Ignite: Real Leadership, Real Talk, Real Results (2015).

© Gabrielle Dolan: Stories for Work copyright 2017, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used by permission of John Wiley & Sons Inc. and shall not be made available to any unauthorized third parties.

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Stories for Work

The Essential Guide to Business Storytelling

By Gabrielle Dolan
  • Read in 16 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 10 key ideas
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Stories for Work: The Essential Guide to Business Storytelling by Gabrielle Dolan
Synopsis

In Stories for Work (2017), Gabrielle Dolan explains the effectiveness of a powerful story, and how business professionals can harness this tool to communicate ideas, motivate employees, persuade clients and achieve goals. Dolan walks you through practical advice on coming up with your own stories, and how to apply them to a range of business scenarios.

Key idea 1 of 10

Storytelling is an ancient art, but businesses are just beginning to understand its potential.

At some point in your career, you’ve probably sat through a dull PowerPoint presentation. Numbers and stats roll endlessly across the slides, and like a saturated sponge, your brain stops absorbing new information.

You’re not alone; this is an embarrassingly common phenomenon in business. Luckily, there’s a powerful remedy: storytelling.

Storytelling is an ancient antidote to a modern problem – it has been used as a communicative device since historical records began. The ancient Greek author Homer, for instance, completed The Odyssey thousands of years ago. The story was originally composed as an epic spoken-word poem, passed down verbally from generation to generation, and was used by the Greeks to teach cultural values and preserve a common identity.

Another example is Dreamtime storytelling, an ancient indigenous Australian cultural practice. Here, indigenous elders would harness the power of storytelling to teach children about the Dreamtime, a primordial time in indigenous mythology when the spirits created the land, people, plants and animals.

But fascinating history aside, can storytelling really be relevant to the world of work?

Well, whether it’s for an individual or an organization, storytelling is still the most effective and authentic method to deliver a message or communicate an idea. All you have to do is apply its methods to a business situation.

Take Australia’s postal service, Australia Post. With the steady increase in online shopping in recent years, traditional mail transactions are in rapid decline.

As a result, in 2015, Australia Post revamped its organization and brought in new company values. To instill these values into their vast workforce, the company created a two-day storytelling event called the “Grapevine.”

Attendees were asked to come ready to share a personal story relating to one of the company’s new values. The impact was remarkable: after the Grapevine, “agree” responses to the survey question “I can confidently explain our Australia Post Group shared values” jumped from 50 percent to 97 percent!

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