The Power of Stories – The Reinvention Summit

November 15, 2010

Anyone who has ever worked with me speaks fondly of my love of story-telling. There’s nothing my colleagues like more than hearing me reminisce. They often beg me to tell them one of my long, meandering, carefully crafted jokes. Well, actually that’s not entirely true. People have been known to wrestle me to the ground and punch me until I surrender my desire to share my jolly tales.

Some people just have no taste.

I am, however, convinced of the power of the story as a tool for teaching and helping people learn. Some stories just arouse curiosity and interest  – E.g., here’s a  true story from my own school –

Last week I popped into the staffroom in the vain hope that someone might want to buy me a coffee, when I was greeted with an unusual sight – two teachers were lying on the floor under the table. One of them was holding  a glass of water. The other – a roll of masking tape. And between them both sat a small, slightly worried lizard. Now, I’m not  going to tell you why they were there – believe me, you don’t want to know. But you have to admit it  – you’re curious, aren’t you?

Good managers should be story-tellers. People are inspired by stories. Inspired by narrative. Not by statistics. Not by procedures. I am sometimes asked to give trainee teachers tips on how to behave in interviews. Instead of giving them a list of dos-and-don’ts , I prefer to tell them true tales of nightmare interviews I have sat through – E.g., the teacher who told me she loved everything about teaching except ‘those bits in the classroom.’ Just as we all – thanks to Little Red Riding Hood – learnt not to trust grandmothers with snouts and whiskers, so they too can learn what not to say in an interview thanks to the power of the story.

Next time you have a teachers’ meeting, try inspiring the troops with great stories rather than dry facts or procedures.

Speaking of stories, the Reinvention Summit  – a two-week virtual conference focusing on best practices for creating and delivering stories that can help individuals and organisations to reinvent – is currently underway. It’s a gathering of a new tribe of storytellers: change-makers, marketers, entrepreneurs, and creatives who see storytelling as critical to their work and mission.

There’s a star-studded line-up of 25+ speakers with diverse backgrounds to lead teleseminars, interviews, and panel discussions that relate to the future of storytelling as our world goes through reinvention. All sessions are recorded for playback. The online summit includes lots of social networking, collaboration, and crowd-sourcing for those who feel inspired to play. Entry-level pricing starts at just $11.11. To learn more: visit

  • As a reader of this blog, – the organisers of the Reinvention summit –  are kindly offering you two great deals
  • – A coupon for $25 OFF an Activators or Explorers Pass. Use code: REINVENTION
  • “Believe Me: a Storytelling Manifesto for Change-makers and Innovators”. An 88-page gift to you! Complimentary download is available at

Enjoy the summit and keep telling stories!

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