It’s National Storytelling Week in the UK. Cirrus head of engagement Jenny Perkins shares the lessons she has helped business leaders learn from some great animated stories.

I often lead storytelling workshops and webinars for business leaders. Storytelling in business is a highly effective way of getting key messages across and really engaging the people around you.

Inside even the most hardened and cynical leader is a creative child. However, it’s easy to lose that creative child in the bureaucracy of the business world. One way to get back in touch with your inner youngster is through the magic of DreamWorks and Pixar movies.  Often I ask leaders to look at short clips from these movies and think about how we can apply their messages to everyday working life.

Antz: Worker ants Z and Bala manage to galvanise all the other ants around them to overcome the danger of flood. By being very clear about purpose and direction, they unify the other workers and create a towering ladder of ants as the water begins to rise. The message? Peer champions are important, and we can all make a difference.

Inside Out: Inside the mind of young Riley live the emotions of joy, fear, anger and distrust.  She is bombarded by their conflicting voices as she tries to navigate changes in her life. The message? We all need to be aware of our emotions and make conscious choices about which feelings we act on, particularly during periods of transition.

Up:  78-year old Carl has dreamed of adventure all his life, but everyday hurdles got in the way and he never quite managed it. Change is forced upon him when his wife dies and he is subsequently ordered to leave his home. With the help of a few balloons and a young companion, Carl ends up taking his house with him on the adventure of a lifetime. The message? Sometimes we are forced to change, but that doesn’t always mean that we have to leave everything behind. We can take what’s important with us as we travel to new places.

These are just three examples from DreamWorks and Pixar’s many great animations. They may help spark a few ideas for some engaging stories of your own. If you’d like to more, we’d love to talk to you. Please get in touch any time.

More from Jenny Perkins on storytelling:

What is storytelling?

The art of storytelling in business

 

 

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