The Mission

To meet the leadership and influence needs of 21st Century CIOs through best practices in leadership, influence, and narrative skills to achieve the results they desire in a data driven world. And have a blast doing it all.

 

"6,000 stories later, how did this all turn out? Well, replied the CEO of Lakeland Health, within 90 days we were at the 95th percentile [of patient satisfaction scores] ... for the first time ever."

It's true...

I didn't grow up a natural presenter or storyteller. I'm also an introvert. I came from a family of engineers. Engineers are not necessarily known for great communication skills. My dad was an engineer. My brother is a software engineer. My husband's a software engineer. Other family members are engineers. I'm surrounded by them! Then I went to get my Doctorate. Academics is an excellent excellent teacher in being a very boring communicator. Over the years, I've had to learn compelling communication and influence the hard way.

But I've also perfected tools and shortcuts to make the journey a lot quicker and easier for you.

The Story Is Just The Beginning . . .

So there I am...sitting in a cafeteria of a global financial services firm on Wall St., waiting for the meeting to begin. 1,200 IT staff are gathered to hear about a big change initiative being launched, and there's an excited buzz in the room. My business partner George and I had just spent 15 months doing assessments of the IT organization, pointing out opportunities for change, and working with the IT Sr. Exec. team on the implementation plan. Imagine the amount of time, money and effort that this required. Yet here we finally were at the moment of launch!

The executives lumber up to the head of the room and start talking. As I glance around I see lots of the people shifting in their chairs, checking pagers, whispering to neighbors, and some eventually nodding off. All while the executives monotonously shared charts, graphs, and bullet points. Ugh! Boring! My heart sank because I knew right then and there that this 6-figure project we had all worked so hard on was absolutely going to fail.

Why? Because no one was sharing stories about the change -- about what needed to happen and why. "What a colossal waste of time, effort, and money!" I thought to myself. Never again on my watch.

We wanted to coach the execs on their presentation. But for whatever reason, we couldn't sell it to the client. And that project did fail, by the way. Ouch. With clients after that, gone were the charts, graphs and bullet points. Stories ruled. Staff was engaged. Change happened.

What happened next

The field of business narrative was just beginning -- I could count qualified trained professionals on two hands -- twice. And me? It was an opportunity to jump in and do more of the work I love with the perfect trifecta of skills:

  • A PhD in narrative practices
  • Experience with senior executives
  • Training in compelling communication by top performers around the country

In addition to that, I'd spent years in the trenches of the human potential movement, getting trained in transforming human behavior.

So I hung out my shingle in 2001 and got busy. Later I took a break from training/coaching/consulting practice to run NSN, a national membership association. My focus was to increase the visibility power of narrative practitioners and performers in education, business, healthcare, and other areas across the country. I loved that job and the strides we made. But I knew I could only take it so far.

In 2008 I come back to my training/coaching/consulting practice and while working with clients, launched my Curation on business narrative. The world of business narrative had exploded and everybody was getting on board. Tons of junk with questionable information was making it onto the web. I wanted the best material I could find on the topic, to share it with others, plus present cutting edge trends happening in compelling communication. 

I've reviewed 2000+ evergreen articles, have 17,000+ followers, 103,000+ visitors, and 51,000+ shares/comments. It is now the largest free library in the world on business narratives for people like you to use. 

In 2013 the Wiley Dummies brand approached me to write Business Storytelling For Dummies. The book was written and published with the help of my co-author and colleague Lori Silverman. Within a year it was a national bestseller. LOL -- at the same time I delivered a TEDx talk on the power of story listening for impact and influence. Talk about a crazy time -- but wonderful, too.

Along the way I worked with clients like California Bank & Trust, Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, Social Venture Partners, Princess Cruises, Beaver Medical Group, Citrix, and others.

today...

I'm focused on helping technology leaders use advanced communication frameworks and processes that I've developed and field tested to tease out actionable insights from big data. Then we concentrate on sharing the data story with impact, leverage communication methodologies and neuroscience for greater influence, and build high performing cultures. 

But I'm not a natural presenter or storyteller, plus I'm an introvert. I came from a family of engineers. Engineers are not necessarily known for great presentation skills. My dad was an engineer. My brother is a software engineer. My husband's a software engineer. Other family members are engineers. I'm surrounded by them! Then I went to graduate school. Academics is an excellent excellent teacher in being a very boring communicator. Over the years, I've had to learn compelling communication and influence the hard way.

But I've also perfected tools and shortcuts to make the journey a lot quicker and easier for you.

It's been an amazing ride, a ton of fun, and lots of amazing work. 

What's next? Lots! Keep up with me and regularly receive updates by signing up for my newsletter.

Story on --

Karen Dietz, PhD

download my bio here

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