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Learn by example
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Client: Global consulting firm
talent, unfocused energy
This global consulting firm—already a powerhouse of excellence and expertise—is always reaching for more. Within its Operations business, the firm established a creative studio to help business developers and account teams present and sell new ideas to clients. Not with boring, predictable PowerPoint decks, but through inspiring, visionary stories and experiences.
Making this happen would require a culture shift. But how do you get sales and account teams to take creative risks? Especially when their clients are high-profile, their contracts are enormous, and their careers are on the line?
The leader of the newly organized Operations Studio had the good instinct to start with an energetic, young crew with diverse skills and backgrounds. She recruited team members, internally and externally, who could write, draw, improvise, code …
She just needed to train these rock stars to channel their energies into ideas and outcomes that would gain their colleagues’ trust.
Creativity unleashed in stories
Story Mode helped mold and mature this team into a confident storytelling force.
We taught them a shared way of thinking about storytelling. We showed them how to craft pitches that overcome fears, introduce radically new ideas and technologies, and persuade their clients to try new things.
We began with a two-day, intensive Storytelling Workshop that served as the foundation for everything to come. Next came Individual Coaching and a series of Writers Rooms to help small groups practice their new skills in the service of work in progress.
Now they're internal experts
Today, the Operations Studio has opened offices around the world, expanding their influence while building a storytelling culture within Accenture. They continue to challenge themselves to find new ways to develop interactive stories using every technology—new and old—available.
Story Mode continues to work with this team and their internal clients through Creative Crunchtimes, Writers Rooms, and Coaching.
client: international agricultural manufacturer
Same old, same old
A market leader with incredible products, passionate content experts, a motivated sales force, and a captive audience … but training “the way we’ve always done it.”
Reliant on independent dealers to sell and service its products, this company holds annual “training camps.” But the programs had become more “camp” than ”training.” Heavy on product updates and competitive info; light on teaching people to sell.
The training developers—while talented and well-versed in their products—were frustrated by conflicting demands from various departments and stymied by their own tired methods and routines. Another test drive? Ho hum.
Story Mode breathed new life into this sales training organization.
We started by listening and experiencing the existing training program. As outsiders, we saw so much opportunity! So many ideas! Our challenge was to help others see, too, so they could find their way to something new.
Working with contributors from many departments, we instituted a creative process that engaged all stakeholders from the start. Together, they learned to focus on customer first, dealer second, products third—a full reversal of their usual approach.
The keys to this transformation: understanding the audience, playing with ideas in a Creativity Lab, and learning the power of storytelling.
On their own
Today, the training developers run their own Creativity Labs and continue to delight us—and their stakeholders—by using the flexible process and creative approaches we helped them develop.
Story Mode continues to consult with this Global Training Organization, as well as other groups throughout the company. In addition to guiding teams to make creative breakthroughs and embrace new creative processes, we lead courses in storytelling, writing, “cutting the crap,” and presentation skills through the