What’s the story
A group of City Staff wanted to learn the art of storytelling to improve their abilities to present connect with co-workers. Adam, Clara, Graeme, Joanna, Manjit, Steven and several others followed the “Storytelling For Change” course, offered free online by Acumen+ and the Ariel Group between 2013 and 2015. Participants shared the belief that humans are hardwired to understand stories. Stories powerfully capture attention, and help connect ideas with action. We are able to share perspectives and build empathy through stories. Practicing storytelling skills can help advance the goals of the Toronto Public Service.
Project members followed the online course together, including watching videos, completing homework and meeting during lunch and after work. All this to learn the techniques and practice storytelling in a peer-learning environment.
Until recently, there was no opportunity for City staff to learn storytelling skills. There is currently a course for City employees called “Engage Others Using Powerful Stories” offered twice annually at the Toronto Public Service Learning Centre. The Acumen+ course is still available for those interested in peer learning.
Call to action:
Those interested in Acumen’s peer-learning opportunity can express interest to the Innovation Lab who can facilitate bringing a group together around this topic.
The project team developed a self-directed learning kit
The Four Truths of the Storyteller – Harvard Business Review, Peter Gruber