Sign up to get Steve Denning's FREE newsletter


You'll get tips, tricks and advance chapters from Steve's forthcoming book. Click here to sign-up for newsletter.

Storytelling In The News: #171

Fast Company discusses organizational storytelling

Selling Storytelling

July 27, 2004

Posted by Heath Row

Read the article here

Steve Denning's new book A Leader's Guide to Storytelling isn't slated to be published by Jossey-Bass until next year, but you can get a sneak peak in his new blog. Since last month, Denning has been publishing draft chapters of the book as he writes them. To date, entries have addressed storytelling styles, how storytelling can help circumvent the rumor mill, and other topics. It's an interesting inside look at Denning's writing process -- and a way to help shape the text if you have ideas and feedback to share. (And at least he's not writing another fable!)

My reply to Fast Company


Thanks for the link to A Leader's Guide to Storytelling. I look forward to getting comments and suggestions as this work moves forward.

By the way, though, I'd like to offer a word of explanation on fables. Although fables have been a powerful tool for communicating complex ideas to a wide audience over the millennia, such as Aesop's Fables or George Orwell's Animal Farm, business fables have gotten a bad rap recently, for several reasons.

One is that some of them are often badly written -- no, make that horribly written! And of course this doesn't help.

Another is that the substantive content of some recent business fables has been razor-thin, almost non-existent.

My problem was the opposite: I had a lot of content. The question was how to communicate it most clearly and easily for a diverse audience. I got into writing Squirrel Inc because people asked for it. They told me: "You're talking about seven different kinds of stories and five different dimensions -- this is complicated! I thought you believed in storytelling? Why don't you communicate this stuff with a story?"

As I didn't happen to have on hand a real-life story embodying all the different kinds of storytelling that I was talking about, I decided to write a light-hearted satire of corporate life, in which one would also learn about the seven different kinds of story and the five dimensions and so on. It was fun writing it and quite a few people have had fun reading it.

So for those who want to learn through a story, there's Squirrel Inc.

For those who would prefer an encyclopedia of resources on storytelling, there's my website.

For those who want a straightforward business presentation of what it's about, there's my article in the May 2004 issue of Harvard Business Review article.

For those who want a user's guide on how to do it, there's the forthcoming A Leader's Guide to Storytelling, which is emerging in my blog.

I've tried to cater to the needs of a diverse audience.

Something for every taste.



Learn more about leadership and business storytelling

Read The Leader's Guide to Storytelling.

Read the Introduction
Watch the video
& pick up these amazing gifts!

Join our on-line
discussion group:

the World
of Work"