Organizational Storytelling


I recently had the opportunity to share some of my thoughts about organizational storytelling with student "Ambassadors" in the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. These students represent the world-renowned undergraduate program in various contexts.


During our time together I shared a simple storytelling framework they can use when speaking on panels or giving tours.

  • Event: Begin with a fact, event, or action.

  • Transformation: Reveal the change.

  • Lesson: Share the lesson.

I had heard one of the panelist unknowingly use this framework on a panel last year, so I shared it as an example before the students outlined and delivered their own personal stories.

  • Event: "I earned a "C" on my first Business Computing Exam" my first semester at Cornell.

  • Transformation: "I soon realized the process I used in high school wouldn’t be enough, so I went to the professor’s office hours and started doing my homework in the computer lab when the teaching assistant was there."

  • Lesson: "This experience helped me develop better study skills and learn that there are many resources at Cornell to help me along the way."

This framework is described in The Storyteller's Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, why Some Ideas Catch on and Others Don't by Carmen Gallo.

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