Newsletters

It’s Like a First Date: A Story-bite that Drives Focus

By Jean Storlie / July 24, 2013 / 2 Comments

In the process of changing to a new budgeting process, my client called a meeting to bring alignment between different factions in preparation for a presentation to the executive team. One team had created a budget proposal, while another team had been challenged to assess the proposed budget against strategic priorities and identify gaps. As…

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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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Sunday Night Dinner: Rituals That Build a Family Narrative

By Jean Storlie / June 12, 2013 / 3 Comments

“I can’t wait until I go to college so I don’t have to sit through Sunday Night Dinner,” our 18-year-old daughter whined — creating tension and drama — as we gathered for our ritual meal around the dining room table, set with linens and lit with candles. Six months later on her first weekend home…

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When Opportunity is Disguised as Loss

By Jean Storlie / June 4, 2013 / 10 Comments

A year ago today, I was laid off from General Mills in a major corporate restructuring. My first reaction was relief – to be free from a job that no longer energized me – and excitement – for the chance to pursue a dream I’d been imagining. Arriving home that first night, I tossed aside…

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Fitness Carrot or Stick Debate

The School Fitness Debate: Carrot, Stick, or Neither?

By Jean Storlie / May 29, 2013 / 1 Comment

“Automatic out, Storlie’s up!” my classmates would chant when I’d get up to bat.  As a young girl in the 60s, I was a skinny, klutzy kid no one wanted on their team. Humiliated and defeated, I’d swing my three strikes and, maybe, get walked. I grew up hating PE and sports. As a nutrition…

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Storytelling Can Unify a Brand Experience

By Jean Storlie / May 15, 2013 / 2 Comments

In writing a story about a deep emotional experience living in hospice while my dad passed, I told stories about the amazing care and compassion of the hospital staff –from the doctors to the man who cleaned our room. This culture of caring was clearly integrated into the hospital’s “product experience,” so I was really…

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My Hospice Experience With Dad

By Jean Storlie / May 8, 2013 / 5 Comments

Last week, I spent 5 days and 4 nights in hospice with my father, Jack Storlie, who passed away on May 4. During this vigil, I experienced the emotional side of health in the deepest way possible. Before going into a coma, Dad was recovering from an emergency surgery that removed 25% of his small…

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