The home improvement store chain Lowe’s was named #1 among Fast Company’s 2018 Most Innovative Companies, for augmented and virtual reality, as well as #1 for innovation among specialty retailers on Fortune’s 2018 World’s Most Admired Companies. How did a company in a dusty, old-hat industry (hardware stores) suddenly become known as an innovator?

As founder and executive director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs, the company’s disruptive innovation hub, Kyle Nel was at the forefront of this dramatic business transformation. In this episode, Kyle joins us to share his story and discuss how the next level of storytelling — using unconventional tools like science fiction, graphic novels, applied neuroscience, and archetypes — can help you overcome human behavior barriers as you reinvent your company’s future. He shares tips to help you lead both small and large transformations in areas such as innovation, human resources, marketing, process improvement, business strategy, and more.

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Storytelling is the most underrated skill [among entrepreneurs].

~ Ben Horowitze, famed venture capitalist

Storytelling is the act of framing an idea as a narrative to inform, illuminate, and inspire. From Steve Jobs to Sheryl Sandberg to Richard Branson, successful leaders study and practice the art of storytelling in order to attract top talent, increase workforce engagement, and launch movements. In fact, in our work at Aspendale helping clients with their workforce communications, storytelling is almost always a component of the overall strategy. [click to continue…]


106: 4 Storytelling Frameworks to Lead Change | with Amanda Marko

February 15, 2015

Storytelling is a key tool for leading change. In episode 102, “Storytelling for Leaders,” Amanda Marko joined us to discuss why it’s such a powerful tool and provided tips for putting it to work. In this episode, Amanda returns to talk more specifically on the “how” of storytelling for leaders, and she explains four storytelling […]

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102: Storytelling for Leaders: How to Influence, Engage & Inspire | with Amanda Marko

December 15, 2014

Storytelling is an effective leadership tool for change management, engagement, and bringing the business strategy to life. We discussed this tool back in episode 52, “How to Use Stories to Engage People.” Today we’ll dig deeper, with the help of someone whose been teaching the art and science of storytelling to leaders from across the […]

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052: How to Use Stories to Engage People | featuring Steve Kloyda from The Prospecting Expert

August 29, 2013

Who would you say has had the most influence over people in the last several decades? Politicians? Teachers? CEOs? Perhaps Hollywood and the rest of the entertainment industry have had the most significant impact on a greater number of people. Consider this: After Jaws hit theaters in 1975, shark hunting increased dramatically, to the point […]

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Hit the Nail on the Head: 5 Guidelines for Effective Storytelling

April 3, 2013

Stories are the single most powerful weapon in a leader’s arsenal. ~ Howard Gardner, Harvard University In my previous blog post, I discussed four primary reasons a well-crafted story can be powerful. The operative term, of course, is well-crafted. To influence people, your story doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does need to be crafted […]

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The Power of Story: 4 Ways Stories Influence People

March 27, 2013

Having a story today is really what separates companies. People don’t just wear our shoes, they tell our story. ~ Blake Mycoskie, CEO of Tom’s Shoes Why are stories such effective tools for influencing people? There are four primary reasons a well-crafted story is powerful. An effective story not only instructs; it also entertains. It’s […]

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017: Engaging Lincoln Part 2: 6 Tactics to Be an Extraordinary Communicator

December 20, 2012

In the second part of the two-part Engaging Lincoln series, Jesse and Marty continue their analysis of Abraham Lincoln’s leadership by exploring the techniques he used to be a truly extraordinary communicator.  Lincoln’s communication skills were central to his ability to lead a divided nation and to engage a divided people.  Using Lincoln as a […]

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How to Tell Stories That Stick, Part 2: The SUCCES Model [video]

December 18, 2012

Last week’s video gave you a simple approach to holding your audience’s attention. In this video, I want to take you a step further with a more advanced model that is presented in the book Made to Stick, by Dan and Chip Heath. This week, we’re talking about how to tell your story in such a […]

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How to Tell Stories That Stick, Part 1: Forest AND Trees [video]

December 11, 2012

Some leaders know what they’re doing, but can’t get others to follow them. They have a lot of good information, but can’t get people to listen. Or maybe, they just can’t hold anyone’s attention. You might be an authority in your field and have all the answers, but if you’re too boring, no one is […]

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