Newsletters

Shrinking the Monster Named Fear

By Jean Storlie / March 3, 2015 / 6 Comments

“Mom, are you coming?” Jackson called from the next plateau. I was sitting on a rock ledge trying to overcome the vertigo triggered by my fear of heights. Next to me sat a woman who’d confessed that she did not have the fitness to proceed. Observing her contented defeat, I knew I didn’t want to…

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Root Canal and Mink Coat: Finding Tensions in Opposites

By Jean Storlie / February 2, 2015 / 8 Comments

The Chicago wind slapped my face as I stepped out of the dentist’s office on Valentine’s Day in 1989. My first root canal and no plans for a romantic evening … or any romantic prospects on the horizon … had me down. It was 3 pm and I felt lousy, so I decided to go…

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What I Learned from Skating on Thin Ice

By Jean Storlie / January 5, 2015 / 4 Comments

On a sunny winter day when I was about 10 years old, my two sisters and I begged to go ice skating at a city rink in a back slew of the Mississippi River. Our mom drove us across town, helped us into our skates, and left us to entertain ourselves. There was a big…

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Don’t Let Other People’s Inhibitions Stifle Your Creativity

By Jean Storlie / October 31, 2014 / 5 Comments

I’ve always been an enthusiastic Halloween Mom, decorating the house for parties, sewing elaborate costumes, hosting my kids’ friends for pizza before trick-or-treating, and inviting all the “spirited souls” (young and old) to join the fun. Sometimes, I even go over-the-top! Halloween Night when my son was 11 years old, he was the last of…

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What “Say Yes to the Dress” Teaches Us about Creativity

By Jean Storlie / June 2, 2014 / 2 Comments

  When my daughter, Jayme, was 12-years-old, one of her favorite shows was “Say Yes to the Dress.” My first reaction was total dismay that they actually made an entire TV series about shopping for wedding dresses. But once she started recording the episodes on our DVR, I figured rather than dismiss it, I should…

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How Will the Animals Read? Watch Out for Communication Blind Spots

By Jean Storlie / May 1, 2014 / 1 Comment

One day, when my daughter was about 6 years old, my husband was helping her get ready for a Brownie Field Trip to the Humane Society. After signing the Permission Slip, he was ticking through the checklist of gear she needed, including old newspapers for animal bedding. I was upstairs on the landing supervising our…

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Don’t Rake in a Blizzard: Problem Solving through Social Networks

By Jean Storlie / March 3, 2014 / 1 Comment

One afternoon in early January, my daughters wanted to bake cookies and discovered that our cookie sheets were missing from the drawer where we store them. We searched high and low in all the spaces where cookie sheets could possibly fit. We wracked our brains and had many conversations about what could have happened to…

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Picture Perfect: Overcoming Innovation Pitfalls

By Jean Storlie / February 1, 2014 / 2 Comments

Back in the 70s, my parents received a coupon for a family portrait sitting and decided to herd the seven of us down to Ellickson’s, the local portrait studio. I remember being in college struggling to find something other than jeans to wear. Even though we weren’t given any guidelines, I showed up in a…

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Wallflower or Dancer? Three Common Barriers to Personal Storytelling

By Jean Storlie / December 10, 2013 / 1 Comment

During a networking breakfast, Maggie shared a story that had me transfixed: I vividly imagined her epiphany moment when she sat at her corporate desk in a large technology company at 8:30 one night and realized that she needed to leave her career in Information Technology. While searching internal job postings, she decided to roll…

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Secret Decoder Ring: Solving the Mystery of Social Tribes

By Jean Storlie / November 5, 2013 / 0 Comments

About a year after I joined General Mills in 1999, I was talking to a friend about how I still felt like an outsider. She said, “Jean, that’s because no one gave you the ‘secret decoder ring’ to help you understand the company’s culture.” At the time, I felt like she read my mind and…

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