October 28, 2020

Article at Denise Withers

Building a story culture: McConnell Foundation (project overview)

As the McConnell Foundation prepared to enter a new era, with a new incoming CEO and strategy underway, they knew they needed to invest in their team, to improve their ability to tell their stories. Their goal was not just to strengthen the communication of their work to external audiences, but also to use the stories to clarify and ignite their core values and purpose.

Working with senior leadership, I designed a program to help the story team develop their narrative intelligence and foundational skills for one month. Then, I coached each of them as they worked on their own story projects to share with the Board and other key stakeholders. In addition to the 1-1 work, we also connected for several studio sessions online to workshop the stories and seek feedback.

At the end of 3 months, they shared their work and insights from the experience. Not only did they produce amazingly engaging stories, but we also found the practice and coaching became a pathway for several participants to find their voice and step into much greater leadership responsibility. The act of telling their stories allowed them to tap into their creativity and build confidence in new ways, which created added value for the organization and revealed their potential for future story challenges.