Workshops 2018 3


We all use stories as a frame for how we see the world and as a filter for our actions. They tell us how far we can go, what “people like us” can expect and who has the power.  So what happens if you want to change the story you’re living in? So many people want to get good at storytelling so they can influence others.  But stories can do so much more than this!  They are a foundation stone for changing our experiences and expectations and the doorway for new possibilities.

This session offers ten practices of Story Activism and how you can use them first to take back the power of your own story and then to work with others to change the stories we’re all living in together.  This will be a highly practical and fun session aimed at providing a roadmap for taking action in areas that matter most to you.

Re-shaping a brand’s future by creating alternative narrative territories

Today, the world we live in is a vuca world – a world that is characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. At a time like this, brands are permanently faced with lots of diverse challenges. With increasing regularity, these brands have to reinvent themselves in order to retain their relevance and keep their competitive edge in the market. They have to be adaptive to all the demanding circumstances and requirements of a vuca world. At regular intervals, this means that those brands need to reflect on their current state. Let’s call it starting point A. They have to challenge their own status quo and ask self-critically ‚How do people see our brand and how do they act?‘ and ‚What and how do we have to change ourselves?‘. 

As soon as this current mischief is identified relentlessly, a brand is ready to re-think and ultimately to re-shape its future state as a consequence. Let’s call this future state endpoint B. For this purpose, a spicy mixture of the relation to reality and the power of imagination is vital: What kind of future state can be imagined for our brand? And what are the limitations we are faced with realistically? Debating this area of tension, a brand always should draft alternative narrative territories (B1, B2 or B3) to tap into and explore. Creativity leads us into these territories. When it finally comes to decision making which one is the most promising territory for actually re-authoring its future, we need a change of perspective and put the consumer in the center of our thinking. We need to ask: How do we want to change him or her? Because each narrative implies a distinct impact on the consumer. Already in 1993, the author R.J. Gerrig stated in his book ‚Experiencing Narrative Worlds‘ that the consumer (= traveller) „goes some distance from his or her world of origin [= starting point A], somewhat changed by the journey“. In this sense, we can spot a move from A to B. From a consumer’s point of view, the narrative therewith marks a journey changing them. And for the brand, ideally this means a progress that reveals new perspectives.

After a short introduction, the interactive session is composed of thee parts:

(1) Case studies: You will be given three famous brands as short case studies. Each brand holds a certain current state and is respectively faced with a challenge. This is the starting point A. (OI)

(2) Groupwork: In groups, you will be working on one of these brands, re-shaping its future by drafting alternative narrative territories (B1, B2 or B3) to tap into. Therefor, you will be armed with a toolkit. (IC)

(3) Elevator pitch: As a last point, each group will present their alternative narratives as an elevator pitch.

How to listen to discover inspiring stories where you least expect it

You don't have to be a good presenter to tell a good story. Inspiring ideas and innovation can be anywhere. The workshop is about how to listen for hidden stories and innovative ideas from people who are not polished presenters.

We'll offer an experiential workshop of sharing and listening.

You will gain insights from the latest research on listening and experience its magic. We’ll also share our experience of coaching people to connect with their own inspiring stories while listening to how to engage and build trust with their audience. Come and be surprised with one of your own stories while learning to inspire others to do the same.

Re-authoring your story with the Story-Canvas

At certain points in life we ask ourselves: Why am I here? Why do I have to face this challenge? Am I the right person for this job, to lead the team, to change things? Which way to go?

Story-Telling and Story-Listening can provide a meaningful conversation and reflection on our values and choices in life.Re-authoring our own story enables us to see things differenty, to change our behaviour and become better leaders.

The workshop introduces the Story-Canvas; a framework to work on your own story (or the one of a client) which is easy to learn and provides access to deeper questions and meaningful conversations about biographies and career-paths. The Story-Canvas can easily be applied to agile methods and New Work culture. The Canvas also works as part of a leadership-training.

After a quick introduction on the basics of Story-Telling and Story-Listening, participants will work in pairs of two with the Story-Canvas. Stories are shared with the group at the end of the workshop.

Hakuna Mañana - How to create the in-between times and design future?

Paulo Coelho, while describing three symptoms of killing our dreams mentions… lack of time. He says provokingly in his blog “The busiest people I have known in my life always have time enough to do everything.“

And I would love to invite all the busy and less busy persons to join an interactive narrative workshop focusing on the question „How to create the in-between times and design future?“

Further questions to explore are: "How long does last your one minute?", "What can you do to introduce more rubato in your life?", "How are you going to spend myday in the future?", and some more. The workshop is designed beyond storytelling. It is based on story sharing and collective harvesting as well as inspirations regarding intercultural time aspects by Phillip Zimbardo, Edward Hall, Robert Levine and… Alice in Wonderland.


Individuals as well as organisations have a desire to feel in control of future und therefore develop ideas of this future, “imagined futures”, that they want to achieve. To reach those goals, they long for having an orientation, where to go next, what goals to focus on, and what steps to be done next.

But looking closer into organisations, the planning of future isn’t beginning in the here and now; it isn’t really beginning with the first action to do to reach the desired future. It rather simply draws the picture of the imagined future in itself - which is a classical vision and mission statement of an organisation – and often fails to inform the members of the organisation about the planned steps to be done to make this imagined future real. But even when organisations inform their staff about the planned steps: they rarely invite them into a shaping process of the paths to go into this imagined future - and so the members of the organisation oppose and react with unwillingness to follow the “subscribed change”. To avoid this reaction, not only the imagined future itself, but also the steps to be done to reach this imagined future should become transparent and ideally “in ownership” of many.

In the workshop the participants get to know the imagined future of the HRD-department of TELEKOM: Dr. Rainer Klose, member of the HRD-department, will give them information about a desired change in this department – the imagined future in a special case and context. After knowing about the desired change, the participants have the task to go 2 different paths into this imagined future:

  • the “heroes journey” helps to shape a future story that begins in the here and now and guides through the various steps to be taken to make the imagined future real.
  • The 2nd approach begins with a metaphor for the organization in the presence: what image describes the organization the best in the status quo? The 2nd step is to change this image into a metaphor, that makes the imagined future thinkable and desirable.

The participants will shape the future stories with these 2 approaches.

    We will discuss the differences, challenges, risks and chances of both approaches for shaping future stories. Dr. Klose can give feedback to the adaptability of the proposals from the group out of the corporate perspective.

    Workshop Host