About Transformational Storytelling

Transformational Storytelling is built on two key beliefs:

  • all of us are birthing new stories
  • all of us are birthing new stories together.

What is Storytelling?

In a connected, fast-moving and automated environment, storytelling has grown from a complement to a leadership toolkit into an essential way of defining the value of our work. Every presentation, strategic plan, networking meeting and social media post is a story about a future that leaders are working to make real. Today, leadership is storytelling, and leaders are storytellers.

But storytelling refers to something more essential about the way we perceive the world. All of us are “telling stories” about ourselves and each other, all of the time. By becoming aware of those stories, we overcome our habitual biases to create more human connections. By changing those stories, we unlock new potential for the way we organize, lead and work. And by understanding the patterns in all of our stories, we learn how to engage the emotions and imagination of others, helping them see things differently — and act differently as a result.

Why Learn Storytelling?

Improve Persuasion, Motivation & Influence

Use the same tactics storytellers have been using to influence human behavior for tens of thousands of years.

Develop Creative Thinking Skills

Apply design thinking processes to reframe problems from new perspectives, revealing unexpected solutions.

Connect Authentically with Customers & Employees

Build momentum for change by telling the right stories and including your audience in the dialogue.

Improve your ability to connect in-the-moment

Great leadership storytellers all share the same secret: those great, off-the-cuff stories come from a lot of practice. Fill your back pocket with polished stories, so you can always tell the perfect one at the perfect time.
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Storytelling Design Thinking Exercises

The powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of an entire generation to come.

Steve Jobs

About Transformational Storytelling

The Internet has changed the way we all tell stories, in some obvious and not-so-obvious ways. In addition to creating new forms for storytelling — like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, podcasts and all the other media that have become a normal part of our lives — the Internet has created new narrative functions that we all use, often unconsciously, as we engage with the world.

Do you “scroll” through social media posts, or “swipe” through dating apps? Do you “share” things with your “audiences”? Can you tell the difference between the notifications that buzz on your phone?

These and other similar behaviors have fundamentally changed the way we relate to one another and the world.

Because our stories reflect our inner psychology of perception, cognition and sense-making, when we change, our stories do too. But because our stories are lodged in habit, memory and embedded neural networks, change in our inner stories tends to lag behind changes to our outer circumstance.

The Transformational Storytelling process is designed to generate change by “updating” our stories to our current realities.

External Influences

Drawing from the latest brain science, we use the optimal learning strategies for accelerating and embedding new behavior.

Design Thinking
We use elements from the designer’s toolkit like empathy and experimentation to ideate creative ways to arrive at – and verify – innovative solutions.

Narrative Coaching
Personalized coaching tactics enable us to uncover, understand & change the narratives that drive identity, belonging and connection.

Emotional Intelligence
By understanding the patterns and functions of inner world life, we learn how to encourage our audience towards the psychological safety essential for authentic persuasion.

Classical Narrative Techniques
We apply the enduring storytelling frameworks that connect folk tales, Hollywood movies and multi-million dollar investment pitches to the purposeful communication of meaningful visions.

The Circle Way
By gathering in a circle, we engender depth in our conversation, while creating an inclusive environment for every participant to contribute, learn and grow.

In Transformational Storytelling, an individual or organizational narrative is recast as a multi-faceted and ever-changing emotional relationship between the people within an organization, and with all external audiences.

About the Process

The Four Stages of Transformational Storytelling

Develop Storytelling Source Material

In this first Discovery phase, we create a whole bunch of ``stuff``, as a mechanism for teasing out the Story beneath the story.

Empathize with Ideal Audiences

By using Design Thinking tools and other forms of qualitative research, we ``de-center`` ourselves to better understand the audiences perspective. In doing so, we identify areas for overlap.

Build a Storytelling Prototype

Once we have a sense of where the story is going, we build an inexpensive prototype designed to verify our hypothesis and reveal hidden depth to the story.

Integrate the Story Across Multiple Touchpoints

Having revealed the central narrative's themes and conflicts, we integrate this knowledge across Audience Journeys, products, services and your holistic engagement with the world.

The goal of Transformational Storytelling is to reveal the powerful emotional resonance that connects all stories together.

Storytelling is the essential human activity. The harder the situation, the more essential it is.

Tim O’Brien

When Should Businesses Examine Their Story?

Most business people would never identify themselves as a storyteller, because “storytelling” has the connotation of something made up or false. But the truth is that organizational boardrooms, workspaces and sales calls are the fertile terrain of narrative. Whenever we envision something that doesn’t yet exist and use the stories of our past — and ideal future — as a mechanism for explaining, analyzing and motivating influence, we are necessarily employing the tools of storytelling.

For both individuals and their organizations, the urgency to focus on their storytelling arises in particular at any moment of profound change. In these moments, what people face is not just a new way of working, but a new way of being — a new way of identifying one’s own sense of self in relationship to the changing organization. This deeply intimate need to “re-story” is particularly urgent at these moments in the life of an organization:

  • When implementing new technology, or a broader “digital transformation” initiative;
  • When addressing inequity in old ways of working or outright discrimination against a particular race, gender or working group;
  • When undergoing culture articulation or change;
  • When introducing employees — and customers — to innovative ideas;
  • When pivoting, growing or transitioning core business; and,
  • When feeling pressure to relate authentically to the marketplace.

By this definition, an individual or organizational story is not a single entity, but their dynamic and deeply intimate process of change.

Some Specific Outcomes

Brand discovery, development and design, including brochures, websites, SEO campaigns, social media campaigns, content strategy

Sales pitches, pitch decks, sales trainings

Keynote speeches, strategic brand development, leadership training, strategic narrative development, thought leadership articles, media training

Organizational story development, internal trainings, core values, mission/vision/values frameworks, internal communications

Pitch decks, fundraising campaigns, crowdfunding campaigns.

If you’re going to have a story, have a big story, or none at all.

Joseph Campbell

Become a Transformational Storyteller

Ready to start your Storytelling journey?

Get in touch to book a training or for more information.

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About Transformational Storytelling - Jordan Bower