Newsletters

Watermelon Grudge: Your Customer is the Hero of Your Brand Story

By Jean Storlie / October 17, 2013 / 5 Comments

During the time when my mother was juggling life as a 50s housewife and mother of three pre-school kids in La Crosse, Wisconsin, she spotted an ad in the paper for 50¢ watermelons. Since they only had one car, she rushed out one noon hour when my dad was home for lunch to take advantage…

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Truth Wrapped in Story: Beware of the Evil Villain

By Jean Storlie / October 1, 2013 / 3 Comments

Truth, naked and cold, had been turned away from every home in the village. Her nakedness frightened people. When Parable found her she was huddled in a corner, shivering and hungry. Taking pity on her, Parable took her home, dressed Truth in story, warmed her and sent her out again. Clothed in story, Truth knocked…

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From the Inside Out: A Story-bite about Neutralizing Adversaries

By Jean Storlie / September 17, 2013 / 4 Comments

When I was in graduate school, I worked as the Nutrition Coordinator for an Adult Fitness/Cardiac Rehab program associated with the university I attended. It was a fairly new position in the organization without a lot of structure and process in place. Bright-eyed, naïve, and optimistic, I brought forward a lot of new ideas to…

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Are You a Duck or an Eagle?

By Jean Storlie / August 26, 2013 / 2 Comments

Emerging from the airport to stand in the cab line, Harvey was shaking the travel cobwebs from his brain and looked up to see a bright, shiny taxi. The cab driver jumped out and said, “Hi, I’m Wally. While I load your luggage, I invite you to read my mission statement.” Wally handed him a…

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Bricks, Walls, Cathedrals: A Story-bite to Lead with Vision

By Jean Storlie / August 14, 2013 / 10 Comments

A man came upon a construction site where three people were working.  He asked the first, “What are you doing?” and the man replied: “I am laying bricks.” He asked the second, “What are you doing?” and the man replied: “I am building a wall.” As he approached the third, he heard him humming a…

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Rocks, Pebbles, Sand: A Story-bite about the Important Things in Life

By Jean Storlie / August 7, 2013 / 32 Comments

A teacher walks into a classroom and sets a glass jar on the table. He silently places 2-inch rocks in the jar until no more can fit. He asks the class if the jar is full and they agree it is. He says, “Really,” and pulls out a pile of small pebbles, adding them to…

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Not the Pencil, It’s the Window: A Story-bite that Leads to Deeper Understanding

By Jean Storlie / July 17, 2013 / 0 Comments

In the midst of a chaotic episode of office politics, my boss said to me, “Jean, you need to understand, it’s not the pencil, it’s the window.” As I stood puzzled, she explained the story. Eva and Ron were peers in a company, but Eva had a cubicle with a window. If this wasn’t enough,…

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Storytelling and The Language of Flowers: Writing Content that Takes Root

By Jean Storlie / July 9, 2013 / 6 Comments

A few weeks ago, our book club gathered in my garden to discuss The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Kelly arrived first carrying a plate of appetizers labeled with the herbs she’d used and their meanings (basil stands for hate and rosemary is remembrance). Rachel arrived next with her copy of the book in…

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Creativity Summer Camp: My Inaugural Experience at CSPI

By Jean Storlie / June 27, 2013 / 6 Comments

“If everybody is thinking alike, somebody isn’t thinking.” –George Patton’’ As I arrived on the University of Buffalo campus to attend my first Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) Conference, the first person I met, Laura, approached me warmly and we struck up a conversation. She is from Monterey, Mexico, and co-owns a private school with…

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Beyond Spreadsheets: The Storied Side of Persuasive Communications

By Jean Storlie / June 20, 2013 / 1 Comment

A year ago, my lay-off and retirement from General Mills triggered the need for my husband and I to find a new financial planning service. The process of gathering all of our financial data, interviewing financial counselors, and grappling with the uncertainty of our future was daunting and depressing. For me, personal financial planning and…

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