What I Learned from Karen Dietz, Author of “Business Storytelling for Dummies”

March 23rd, 2016 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA

Last week, I had Karen Dietz, author of Business Storytelling for Dummies, on the Critical Mass Radio Show to share her insight into business storytelling and how her book provides practical experience and guidance. Here are three takeaways from my time with Karen on the Critical Mass Radio Show:

1. Business storytelling is different than any other kind of storytelling. Storytelling is something we experience every day, whether it be in casual conversations, or through entertainment mediums such as films or television programming. Business storytelling is unique in the sense that it is primarily for the purpose of driving people to act. It is designed to inspire individuals to take a step forward.

2. There is a difference between story­telling and story-­doing companies. Both storytelling and story­doing companies have a message that they actively project to their customers. The key difference between the two, however, lies in the alignment (or lack thereof) in the company’s internal and external operations. During my interview with Karen, she gave the example of CVS Pharmacy and the ways in which the company has implemented story-­doing techniques. CVS, which has always promoted health improvement in the company’s external communications, took the step to stop selling cigarettes so that their internal and external values were more consistent.

3. Storytelling impacts our whole body and brain. As Karen stated, “no one ever marched on Washington because of bullet points, charts and graphs.” When we attempt to use facts and figures to persuade, we only impact the analytical parts of the brain, which are primarily neutral. For this reason, this information is not as impactful. When we relay stories, on the other hand, the brain seeks resolution, and is thus more engaged. Stories stimulate all of our senses, and appeal to our emotional processes.

To learn more about Karen Dietz and her book, Business Storytelling for Dummies, visit www.juststoryit.com.

Listen to our full interview with Karen below:


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