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7 Questions with Richard Stone
7 Questions with Richard Stone
Name: Richard Stone
Current title: CEO
Current organisation: StoryWork International
Richard Stone is a nationally recognized speaker on the power of story and its business, healthcare, and education applications. He got his start 25+ years ago developing story-based training programs for team building and leadership development and has been a leader in narrative reminiscence. He has worked with diverse organizations such as Walt Disney Imagineering, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Hewlett Packard, Eastman Chemical Company, Kraft Foods, and Novant Health. His current work at StoryWork International focuses on using the power of story to assist leaders in transforming their organizations and their approach to leading, infusing their work with deeper purpose and meaning. Richard has authored The Healing Art of Storytelling, Stories: The Family Legacy, The Kingdom of Nowt, and co-wrote The Patient Survival Handbook. He is currently working on a new book entitled The 7 Powers of Story. Previously he was the Chief Innovation Officer for Synensys, and before that, the StoryAnalytics Master for the IDEAS Innovation Team (a former division of the Walt Disney Company), where he was on the team that created StoryCare, an innovative program for driving behavioral change among healthcare staff to improve patient safety and satisfaction. Richard also co-created the award-winning board game Pitch-A-Story and is an accomplished artist and photographer. Finally, Richard is a member of the board of PCI Media Impact, an international organization located in New York City committed to improving health, environmental, and social justice outcomes worldwide using the power of story.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
Setting short- and long-term goals and balancing my energies and time to be certain I'm always working toward achieving the bigger picture.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
After a couple of stints serving in leadership with two other companies, I teamed up with my partner to work on achieving a shared vision of using the power of story to make a big impact on the world.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
A lot of my time currently is split between marketing our upcoming book Story Intelligence, training and teaching, consulting, and developing a host of video resources to position ourselves as leaders in this field.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Give people who are working for you all the possible resources you can that they need to succeed and then get out of the way.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Sensemaking in Organizations by Karl Weick. Weick provided me a deep understanding of organizational culture and the notion that the organization's spirit is carried and perpetuated through the power of story.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
People are naturally built to lead. What I think we most need to do is not add capability, but remove internal barriers that people have adopted or assumed to be the way things are.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
We have been developing a host of programs but have been challenged to build a sales channel. I believe what we were missing was a large enough platform and reputation. So we decided that we needed to write a book which is no small enterprise, but I am already seeing fruits from that decision and the book has not hit the marketplace yet.