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Series Archive

Leading by Listening

Collective Next's picture
Collective Next
Friday, August 12, 2016
Audio Accompaniment
Almost all of us have a tiny supercomputer in our pockets - our phones. One of the major advances in the technology on our phones is their ability to understand us, their ability to listen to us. But are our phones actually listening to us when they transcribe our speech or answer a question we asked?
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Matt Saiia's picture
Matt Saiia
Monday, August 1, 2016
Perspective
In May of this year, employees of the small indie record label, Matador tossed thousands of newly pressed records into a dumpster to be destroyed. Not only was this a major financial setback for the tiny company, but as the label’s VP of Sales stated: “It is soul destroying to work towards something and then rip the plan apart.” According to Matador, this tragedy occurred after being told last minute that the publisher with whom they had negotiated the rights for their artist, Will Toledo, to sample a portion of The Cars classic “Just What I Needed” was “not authorized to complete the license in the United States, and that Ric Ocasek [lead singer and songwriter for the Cars] preferred that his work not be included.”
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Marsha Dunn's picture
Marsha Dunn
Monday, July 18, 2016
Interview
When is the last time a kindly stranger approached you on the street and asked, would you care for a poem—and 30 minutes later handed you an original, with echoes of your own heart and soul in it? Chances are it was the last time you walked down Chase Avenue in Cincinnati, and more than likely the kindly stranger was Mike Fleisch.
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Marsha Dunn's picture
Marsha Dunn
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Think Piece
Decisiveness, clarity of vision, the ability to inspire, excellent communication skills. These are some of the traits we’ve come to expect of great leaders. Everything about this list implies action. Leaders act. They act decisively. They speak clearly in order to inspire those around them to act in clear and effective ways. Leadership is all about action.
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The Narrative Universe

Marsha Dunn's picture
Marsha Dunn
Monday, June 13, 2016
Series Summary
Storytelling is much more than a gimmick, a buzzword, or a flash in the pan. Stories so structure our reality that it makes sense to say, we exist in a narrative universe. At least these are the contentions explored in this series. We’ve mined insights from multiple disciplines and brought disparate worlds into conversation. Along the way we’ve cast a light upon the multi-faceted ways that stories of individuals (“this is my story”) interact most fruitfully with the overarching narratives of organizations, societies, and subcultures (“this is our story”).
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Marsha Dunn with Matt Saiia's picture
Marsha Dunn with Matt Saiia
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Final Reflections
Metaphors are rather bad-ass linguistic do-dads. At least that’s one way to distill a recurring theme in our conversations about The Narrative Universe. Matt put it in more precise philosophical terms: “Not only do metaphors shape language, as we’ve long known, but we are coming to see the ways they determine our thoughts and even our actions. In other words, metaphors are more than embellishment, more than just creative ways of explaining what already exists; metaphors structure our experience—and so enable or disable certain ways of being, thinking, imagining and acting.
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Marsha Dunn's picture
Marsha Dunn
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Topical Reading
Stop #1: Philadelphia. Every year over a million people stand in front of this 2080 pound, cracked, silent bell – a bell that hasn’t rung since George Washington’s birthday in 1846. Some considered it less than melodic even then. Viewed objectively, it’s not a great bell. But, of course, as symbol, the Liberty Bell is among the greatest of bells, and it’s anything but silent. It has sounded out its message across the centuries, across this nation—and beyond.
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Marsha Dunn's picture
Marsha Dunn
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Topical Listening
A few weeks ago I witnessed ten acts of bravery, experienced ten instances of human connection, shared ten inspiring moments. I was at my first live Moth Radio event. I was watching—listening—as everyday people took the stage, stood alone—save for a microphone and some nerve—and told their true, personal story to an audience of hundreds. On that evening I was reminded of why our earliest entertainment consisted of humans sitting around the campfire just telling stories.
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Marsha Dunn with Geoff Amidei's picture
Marsha Dunn with Geoff Amidei
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Interview
There is much talk of stories and storytelling these days. Sometimes it sounds as if there’s nothing that stories can’t accomplish in an organizational context. But we know it’s not that simple. The age-old adage that “change is hard” remains, well, unchanged. So in this interview, we try to ask the hard questions about how narrative relates to transformative actions. And who better to ask than Geoff Amidei? Geoff draws on vast experience as performer-turned-facilitator and longtime speaker-coach. To elevate our game, we read Duke University Professor Frederick M. Mayer’s challenging and highly regarded book, Narrative Politics: Stories and Collective Action, in advance.
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