The Sound of Silence, Part I – Storytelling Trends

How Silence in Business can be Worthwhile.   

Hey, we’re back! We know you haven’t heard from us in a while.

Don’t worry—we didn’t fall off the Earth. Get Storied is still here, rocking it, and evolving as we do. It may have seemed we went dead silent for a while. We like to think our silence was by design, but perhaps it was really just necessity.

It’s been a big year.

One of rapid business expansion amidst a personal healing journey.

Get Storied has prospered amidst the challenges. We had to bunker down and make big choices. We like to think of them as strategic sacrifices. This means, for a time, we let go of some of our own communicating in order to serve Mission Critical Path.

In other words, we had to go silent in order to stay focused on what matters.

Here’s What We’ve Been up To.

We’ve been super busy helping clients build storytelling as an organizational capability.

The demand for business storytelling only keeps growing, as more and more organizations recognize how the humanization of business is disrupting and changing the way we all communicate, relate, and interact with each other.

In the past 18 months alone, we’ve delivered 50+ training and consulting engagements on the business of storytelling. I’ve personally been on more planes, across more miles, and in more hotel rooms than I can recount. We’ve grown our client roster to include Ariba, Bloomberg, California State Library, Celebration Health, Points of Light Institute, SustainAbility, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation– just to name a few.

Internally, we’ve bolstered operations. We now have a team of five employees, a cohort of creative partners and an office in the Meatpacking District. That said, we continue to adapt. We are spending the summer realigning ourselves to further scale our training/learning programs, and expand our mission to democratize storytelling for innovators, change-makers and marketers.

As part of our strategic design process, we’ve noticed some big trends in storytelling that we think are worth sharing with you.

What are the Top Trends in Storytelling Today?

Because we work across diverse industries and sectors, we’re always looking for patterns and themes around our work.

Here are three storytelling trends we see converging across industries (plus a quick update on what we’ve been up to):

  1. People want to see into their future story. Working with the California State Library, we helped articulate the future vision story for libraries in the 21st century. We led a series of leadership forums and retreats, around the question: In a world of infinite knowledge, what is the evolving role and value of public libraries? This work resulted in a free downloadable Story Map that shows the different use cases for how libraries are inventing their future. Our work is expanding to Pennsylvania and nationally as well.
  2. Companies need to humanize their brand and business. Our Fortune 500 clients like Bloomberg and Ariba recognize there is a new paradigm for marketing and communications. This reflects a rising trend of corporate CMOs eager to build storytelling as an organizational capability. Our work in this area spans across the areas of branding, innovation and culture change, and helping companies tell a bigger story.
  3. Communities want to tell their collective story. On Valentine’s Day, we led a robust daylong workshop for the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership in Marin County, CA, exploring the issues of social change and how to reimagine the nonprofit story. We did a similar two-day conference with the Northwest Health Foundation that brought together nonprofits, funders and stakeholders across the sector, teaching them how to tell the “community health” story. And in a series of live workshops and at a national conference, we worked with the nonprofit HandsOn Network, again teaching how to talk about public service in a way that attracts more than it repels.

Silence is a Way to See What Matters.

As a company, we’ve had to make the conscious choice to say No to some of the many demands on our time. Learning to let go of some of the things we were attached to—including our more regular newsletter communications—gave us the space to really tune in to our own growing needs, and the needs of our clients.

As you know, storytelling is all about making choices. An exercise in deciding what really matters versus what belongs on the cutting room floor. This is no easy feat. Yet if you’re constantly doing all the time, a slave to your email inbox and social feeds, it becomes hard to breath, much less find the perspective to make conscious choices.

At Get Storied, we‘re trying to embrace silence as a powerful strategy for making better choices. Just imagine: If you dropped into silence for a time, in your business or in life, what would come up for you? What kind of clarity might emerge…?

It can be scary for many of us. It still freaks me out at times—for good reason.

Find out why. In Part II, I share my own personal struggle to find silence—and how I’m learning to embrace my inner-asshole as part of work/life balance (yeah, really…)  

8 thoughts on “The Sound of Silence, Part I – Storytelling Trends”

  1. Welcome BACK Michael & staff!!!

    Congrats on ALL YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS!!

    RMSorg
    WallStreetBranding

  2. Glad you are back…in the meantime I started my own shop with a traditional storefront…focusing on stories for the unique pieces in the store..I’m looking forward to more help from you in the future…JOY

  3. Annie Danielson

    Thank you for such a great article and for getting real about connecting with our own stories, rather than just being “connected” Cheers and here’s to your health, Michael!

  4. Jennifer Rodrigo

    I am 60 years old and i have finally found you and your organization that articulates what i have always believed – the power of the story. Many in corporate business still believe that dehumanising the “worker” is the way to do business. Thank you Michael and I hope you will come over to Asia (Malaysia) one day to bring you and your people’s story so that we can learn that hey, we are all in this together. cheers.

  5. Nice to see you back. With you missing our story almost seemed to be in a comma. Stay healthy and enjoy silence.

  6. Thanks for a very helpful perspective that’s so timely, as I’m working on the stories to share at an upcoming autism conference next Saturday. Much appreciated.

  7. Jane Pellicciotto

    Thanks for the permission to check out every so often. I have been reading, little by little, your Believe Me Manifesto. It’s been a great way to validate what I’m doing right, learn new things and stay motivated. Sometimes I take notes. Sometimes I do a few of the exercises. Sometimes I use what I learn to nudge a client forward to a better place. Thank you.

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