CEO StoryMYTHOS; Corporate Storyteller and Company Historian, P&G
A child of the 70’s, my fascination with the power of story started with an epic and influential set of heroes…Batman and Luke Skywalker. Both would show me the importance of following your dreams and that hard work, risk and learning from failure were all instrumental in finding any important treasure. Many a day on a small farm in central Ohio was consumed with me dressed up in a towel-made-cape fighting the underbelly of Gotham or wielding a homemade cardboard lightsaber battling the forces of the evil Empire. My sandbox was a perfect Tatooine and my electrical engineer Dad’s old oscilloscopes and computer punch cards made my Bat Cave computer come alive. All of the stories of my childhood would play a huge role in the person I am today.
I packed my cape and lightsaber away and attended college at The Ohio State University where I studied Industrial Design. In 1997 I graduated and started my career as a Design Manager at The Procter & Gamble Company. For 15 years I would help lead the design strategy and execution for billion dollar brands like Tide, Gain, Crest, Olay and Pampers. I loved the world of Design but always had a desire to try my hand in Hollywood. So, I decided to write a movie screenplay. After spending countless hours studying, researching and immersing myself in the worlds of Hollywood, mythology and fairy tales I began to understand a deeper human truth…that the art and science of story could be used as a problem solving tool in any industry. Story was not just limited to the traditional venues of entertainment. I began to look at brands, companies and products in an entirely different way. Consumers became valiant Heroes and brands became wise Mentors bestowing magical items called products that would help our hero’s on their journeys. Story was a way to understand our hero, the obstacles they would face and the everyday treasures that motivated them to endure and press-on. The idea of story opened my eyes to a totally new world of creative approaches.
From there I developed storyMYTHOS, a collection of fundamental story principles and tools based on mythology and narrative techniques studied across the centuries from Aristotle to Joseph Campbell to Hollywood. This approach can help with everything from culture building to creative problem solving to inspiring communications. As a kid root cellar doors and a sand box were my gateways into the powerful world of story but today it is the world of iconic brands, motivated teams and impactful product innovations.
For 12 years now I have been teaching story inside and outside the company, helping hundreds of teams, brands and organizations develop the stories they want to create and tell. Companies like Walt Disney, Starwood Hotels, Columbia Sportswear, American Express and Anheuser Busch. I also teach graduate story-based classes at The University of Cincinnati’s DAAP School of Design and the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Masters of Design program. Some of my story approach is featured in Jonathan Cagan and Craig M. Vogel’s book Creating Breakthrough Products: Revealing the Secrets that Drive Global Innovation (2nd Edition).
Today I am the Procter & Gamble Company Historian & Corporate Storyteller where I share the stories and insights from the rich 177 year company history while also continuing to deliver my storyMYTHOS workshops and presentations around the world. My love and understanding of this idea called “story” is now my career and I continue to research it, turning what I learn into new methodologies and tools. My personal Hero’s Journey continues and, just like when I was a kid, I continue to find most of my business inspiration from the fantastic stories of stage, page and screen.
CEO StoryMYTHOS; Corporate Storyteller & Company Historian, P&G Storytelling is the foundation of human understanding and defines true authenticity. As Aristotle once said, “You don’t influence people through intellect, you do it through emotion.” This is designed to: Explain the role storytelling plays in both our personal and professional lives How to coach your clients […]