Author: Kirsty Spencer

Creating a movement and change resilient culture through storytelling


Watch the webinar recording at the bottom of this page

In the recent Accenture research report ‘Reinvention in the age of generative AI’, the Life Sciences industry was identified as second only to Software and Platforms for an increase in the number of organisations building a culture for continuous reinvention – with 20% of the industry taking an early lead and advantage of the forecast revenue growth gap.

With constant transformation becoming BAU, we need to inspire and engage organisational talent to continuously adapt, adopting new skills and behaviours in support of the organisational strategy.

In this webinar we were joined by Aimee Christian, VP Global Head Corporate Communications and Engagement at Jazz Pharmaceuticals, who has partnered with The Storytellers, part of Accenture, to deliver strategy engagement, culture change and transformation with four major organisations.

We explored how to leverage the power of storytelling in strategic communications and activation programmes  – creating a resilient movement to drive change throughout an organisation.  Aimee drew on significant experience leading engagement and communications in Pharma and Life Sciences organisations such as Sanofi and Amgen, and was joined by Robert Tennant, Director Client Strategy, and Kirsty Spencer, Head of Strategic Communications at The Storytellers, part of Accenture.

We explored

  • Insights into the psychological impact of change and transformation and the role narrative plays in creating a powerful movement of change
  • Successful activation, strategic communications and engagement strategies, particularly in global, highly matrixed and regulated industries such as Life Sciences
  • Skills that can help you as a leader to inspire and influence key stakeholders and your team

Watch the webinar now


Fostering effective collaboration

Transformation pain point no. 42

We are often called in to support significant transformations at the point when newly formed teams are established. A critical challenge (probably no 42 in a long list!) is to ensure effective collaboration among the group. As people – often from different units across the organisation – come together to drive the transformation agenda, integrating diverse skill sets and personalities can become a significant pain point.

Common challenges:

Siloed mindsets: Team members may remain fixated on their individual roles and fail to grasp the interconnectedness of their work with that of other team members.

Cultural barriers: People from different backgrounds may face challenges in understanding and accepting each other’s work methodologies and communication styles.

Resistance to change: Employees may show resistance to adapting to different work practices, hindering the progress of the transformation project.

How storytelling fosters collaboration

Storytelling is an ancient art form deeply embedded in human culture that possesses a unique ability to evoke emotional responses and establish profound connections.  The glue that binds individuals together isn’t just the alignment of goals and objectives, but the collective narrative that shapes their shared journey and nurtures a sense of identity within the team.

Key storytelling tools:

  • Create a shared vision for the transformation objectives – a clear reason why this is happening and sense of purpose that gives everyone a reason to care.
  • Involve perspectives from the team to ensure the story is authentic and relatable for all. When every team member’s narrative is valued and acknowledged, a sense of belonging permeates the group, encouraging active participation and a willingness to contribute towards shared objectives.
  • Celebrate what people are already proud of at the outset, building a sense of worth that necessary changes are building on previous contributions.
  • Acknowledge the challenges the team needs to overcome together – by facing a common jeopardy a sense of collective endeavour is quickly built.
  • Use the story as a vehicle to empower individuals and teams to explore how they use their specific expertise and skills to innovate and contribute, and how they should change their behaviour to achieve each milestone in the project plan and deliver the shared vision.
  • Encourage the sharing of stories of success and learning amongst the team – as narratives unfold, common threads often emerge, allowing individuals to recognise shared values, aspirations, and challenges and feel recognition for their contribution to the success of the strategy.

For newly formed teams, harnessing the psychological potency of storytelling serves as a dynamic catalyst, fostering collaboration, empathy, and a shared sense of purpose, effectively becoming a vehicle for nurturing a collective identity.

As narratives unfold, common threads often emerge, allowing individuals to recognise shared values, aspirations, and challenges. Through the identification of these commonalities, people are propelled towards a unified goal, transcending their individual objectives to embrace a collective purpose. This shared purpose becomes the cornerstone upon which collaboration thrives, paving the way for enhanced productivity and cohesive teamwork.

Download the free ebook: Nine drivers to accelerate your strategy

Understand how high-performance organisations activate their people to accelerate change and overcome strategic challenges.


There’s a reason why 70% of strategic change initiatives fail to realise their original objectives. It’s the human side of strategy and change that time and again is the determining factor.

Working with organisations to activate their people to deliver significant change strategies over the last 20 years, we’ve identified the nine key drivers which accelerate activation, engage colleagues in strategic challenges and unlock discretionary effort and ingenuity.

These range from overcoming the fear, confusion and apathy often associated with change, through a clear and compelling narrative, to ensuring leaders are aligned and championing the strategy, avoiding conflicting points of view and diversion of focus and effort. All nine are explored in this ebook. 

How this ebook will help:

  • Clear, summarised and easily digestible list of the nine factors that need to be in place for strategy to be effectively activated
  • Outlines the common situations when strategy activation is critical
  • Provides a framework that can be used to assess and establish what you need to prioritise to activate your people in the journey you are on 

Complete the short form to immediately download your copy

Watch on-demand: Two inspirational days of masterclasses and discussion

To celebrate 20 years pioneering the transformative power of storytelling to execute strategy, accelerate change and unlock extraordinary performance, we hosted a series of bite-sized masterclasses from master storytellers sharing the art and science of storytelling – these are now available to watch on demand.


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Agenda Tuesday 23rd May


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  • 1pm BST – Opening keynote: organisations of the future will be story-driven
  • 2pm BST – Storytelling: the secret weapon for change
  • 3pm BST – Immersive experience: how to make your people the hero of your story
  • 4pm BST – The nine drivers to accelerate the activation of your strategy
  • 5pm BST – A strategic writer’s perspective – how to develop and activate your organisation’s story


Wednesday 24th May


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  • 1pm BST – How creative concepts have the power to activate entire organisations
  • 2pm BST – Creating speeches that move mountains
  • 3pm BST – Increase your leadership influence and impact through storytelling
  • 4pm BST – Activating your organisation using story-driven nudge behaviours
  • 5pm BST – Closing reflection: stories that shape the 21st Century


Complete the short form to access all on-demand content


Webinar: Why activating your people is critical for successful M&A

60% of M&A executives list integrating people and culture as one of the most common reasons that deals are unsuccessful (Mergermarket).  With most studies deeming that 70-90% of M&A deals fail to deliver their stated objectives, de-risking your strategy by addressing this challenge is a critical element to build into your M&A playbook.

In this webinar we draw on 20 years of experience working with complex organisations during these defining moment events, supporting post-merger integration and the ongoing business journey to ensure investment value is realised for shareholders, and crucial talent is retained and galvanised to deliver the M&A vision long term.

Mark Bevan joins us, Partner at Global PMI Partners, acquisition and post-merger specialists with a track record of over 500 operational due diligence, acquisition integration, divestment, carve out and growth projects.

During the session, with insights from landmark deals and recent events, our panel of experts covered:

  • Why people and culture issues are so challenging to successful M&A, and how addressing existing organisational narratives is a critical unlock for success
  • How unifying organisational identity, and creating cultural alignment, through storytelling activates and accelerates the M&A strategy, protects required BAU activity and sustains momentum for the transformation
  • The core activities you should be building into your M&A playbook – with evidence of their impact on driving commercial objectives


  • Robert Tennant, Head of Client Strategy at The Storytellers
  • Mark Bevan, Partner at Global PMI Partners
  • Flora Clarke, Senior Consultant at The Storytellers
  • Marcus Hayes, Co-founder and Director at The Storytellers

Complete the form to watch the recording of the webinar now.

You can also contact members of our team if you have any questions:

Blane Sweeney:

Kirsty Spencer:

‘The Future of Energy’ with Tom Kent – CEO of Nebraska Public Power District

There has never been a more heightened focus on the future of global energy, and its impact on people at a local level.  The pressure on leaders in the industry to develop and deliver transformation that will benefit people, communities, businesses and economies is critical.

In our ‘Stories from the C-suite’ series, we talk to leaders who we believe are expert storytellers and explore their approach to turning vision into reality. In this episode, we explored the challenges of leading significant transformation within a hugely influential organisation with Tom Kent, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nebraska Public Power District. 

Tom joined NPPD over 30 years ago as an engineer and has dedicated the majority of his career to the public power industry, holding many varied roles before becoming CEO of the entire organisation in 2020.

We covered:

  • Tom’s vision for the organisation, its role within the energy industry and the community it serves, and the challenges of activating the transformation strategy at pace
  • Leadership lessons gained through working his way up through the organisation, and how they can be applied to unify and engage management at all levels
  • How to connect a diverse employee and stakeholder population to the journey the organisation is on 
  • The role of storytelling in shifting the mindsets and behaviours needed for significant change

For the years ahead, leaders must seek new ways to stay nimble if they are to seize new opportunities and future-proof their organisation. Expect a timely conversation packed with essential insights and key takeaways for leaders. 

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Webinar: Building organisational resilience and an innovation mindset

Navigating the storm webinar series

Session four

A leadership playbook for activating extraordinary performance in a world of volatility

In recent challenging times, such as the 2008 credit crunch and COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen and worked with organisations that seized opportunities to innovate and stayed focused on their purpose and ambition.  Those that did, bucked the negative trends experienced by the market in general and thrived.  

As organisations face the current hugely challenging global environment, this webinar reveals a proven storytelling methodology for creating the cultural resilience and innovation mindset that enables your people to activate a new level of performance. With examples and stories from complex businesses around the world, we share how people can be your unique differentiator and the key to future-proofing your organisation in difficult times.


  • Alison Esse, Co-founder and Director at The Storytellers
  • Flora Clarke, Senior Consultant at The Storytellers
  • Kirsty Spencer, Head of Marketing at The Storytellers

We covered:

  • How an authentic, purpose-driven story will provide clarity and focus, unify your organisation and build belief in the strategy
  • How to gain competitive advantage through storytelling techniques that encourage and uncover innovation, invaluable insights and commitment to drive change in every area of the organisation
  • What you need to do to maintain momentum, and create the psychological safety and resilience needed for leaders and their teams to remain focused in volatile times

We shared the methodology and techniques proven to drive performance, with tangible real-life examples you can use to build the resilience and innovation needed within your own culture.  

Enter your details to watch the webinar.

You can also contact any member of our Client Director team if you have any questions:

Lynn Archer:

Blane Sweeney:

Webinar: The power of change through mindset and storytelling with Open Water and Pfizer

Navigating the storm webinar series

Session two

A leadership playbook for activating extraordinary performance in a world of volatility


In the current climate of uncertainty and external threats, organisations need to harness the power of change to navigate the storm.  With research showing that 70% of change initiatives fail due to people-related issues, empowering your people will enable you to rebuild your organisation’s culture, connect teams, unify behaviours, and ensure a cohesive mindset. Combining our expertise in mindset and behaviours, and the power of storytelling to accelerate change, in this recent webinar senior leaders at Pfizer, Open Water and The Storytellers shared insights on how to implement change for commercial success, particularly in a hyper VUCA environment. Our experience and expertise in delivering successful, far-reaching transformation programs within the leadership teams of large, complex global organisations, means we have identified the patterns that make change challenging and the solutions to overcome them.


  • Jim Porter – Director of Executive Communications at Pfizer
  • Ben Green – Senior Consultant at The Storytellers
  • Ben Shoshan – Managing Director and Senior Consultant at Open Water

During this webinar, we covered: 

  • The most common barriers to change and the strategies to break these down
  • Insights from one of the most significant organisational transformations within Pfizer, during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • How addressing values, mindset and behaviours, and utilising storytelling will unify your people and allow you to harness the power of change to drive sustainable and successful commercial outcomes
  • The power of change through mindset and storytelling – with essential insights and key takeaways

Change is inevitable, but how you approach it is within your control.  Leaders can and must create a culture that is able to adapt, innovate and embrace ongoing change – and in this webinar, we shared how to do exactly that.

Enter your details to watch the webinar.

You can also contact any member of our Client Director team if you have any questions:

Lynn Archer:

Blane Sweeney:

Jessica Lonsdale:

Webinar: The human side of strategy activation to create extraordinary performance

Navigating the storm webinar series

Session five

A leadership playbook for activating extraordinary performance in a world of volatility

The ability to define, align around and execute the right strategy is a critical capability for organisations around the world. The speed at which strategy turns into meaningful action becomes a key competitive advantage. Yet many leaders miss their biggest opportunity to activate their strategy at pace. Their people.

In this webinar we shared how to rapidly connect people to strategy and turn understanding into action.


  • Hannah Moyo, Head of Consultancy at The Storytellers
  • Robert Tennant, Head of Client Strategy at The Storytellers
  • Marcus Iles, Chief Storytelling Officer at The Storytellers

We covered:

  • How effective executive narrative consultation can quickly align leadership teams and develop the influential storytelling capability essential for creating commitment to the strategic vision
  • Why emotional connection is the key determining factor in changing mindsets and behaviours – and essential for rapid activation
  • The techniques proven to quickly connect with diverse employee populations, and provide them with the means to deliver and sustain their role in the strategy

Watch our panel of business transformation, storytelling and performance activation experts, who draw on their experience working with C-suites of FTSE 250 and Fortune 500 organisations. Sharing the tactics and impact of a story-driven approach to drive strategy activation and derisk transformation investment, this was a stimulating discussion addressing your and other leaders’ current challenges. 

Enter your details to watch the webinar.

You can also contact any member of our Client Director team if you have any questions:

Lynn Archer:

Blane Sweeney: