Storytelling & Innovation

Gwen Ishmael's picture
Chat Date: 
Thu, Jul 28, 2011

One of my early childhood memories centers on storytelling. No, not a memory of enjoying a wonderful tale while being tucked into bed. Instead, it’s of my mother walking into my room, pointing to a freshly-drawn bit of crayon artwork on the wall and asking, “Who did this?” Inspired by my four-year-old-creativity, I reply, “The little girl who lived here before me.” My mother then says, “Gwen, we’re the first family to live in this house.”


Had I taken my audience into account (one of the first rules of good storytelling), I might have been able to pull that story off.  Unfortunately, I was talking to a knowledgeable superior/parent rather than to a peer/best friend down the street, so I was sent to bed with a spanking.


This week we’ll be discussing the use of storytelling and innovation. As my memory demonstrates, the inability to tell a good story can have lasting effects; conversely, the ability to tell a good story can be highly beneficial.


Some basic questions to guide our discussion are:

Q1. What is storytelling? (It’s always good to establish a common understanding before venturing into an Innochat!)

Q2. How do you feel about the use of storytelling in a business environment?

Q3. Where/how have you seen it used effectively?

Q4. Where/how have you seen it fail?

Q5. What approaches, advice, or techniques do you see as best practices?


If you’d like to dig a little deeper into the use of storytelling and innovation, here are some starting points. Feel free to reply with your own resources.

The Leaders’ Guide to Storytelling: Mastering the Art and Discipline of Business Narrative

Why We Need Storytellers At The Heart Of Product Development

Importance of Storytelling in Creative Leadership

Squirrel Inc.


Looking forward to seeing everyone on Thursday at noon Eastern.




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