I grew up as the oldest daughter of two teachers. I got hooked on stories from the first moment I saw a book. I was the kid who kept reading after lights out and walked to school reading two books at once (fortunately, I grew up in a flat place!). During school holidays the family piled into the car and took to the roads, and that gave me an itchy foot. Before long I was 17 and being an exchange student gave me my first taste of the wider world. The stage was set for a love of wondering coupled with a delight in wandering — the ideal attributes for a Story Activist and a self-professed citizen of the world.
Working with an international student organization taught me the power of working across diversity. I learned about the compelling nature of purpose, the importance of a spark of vision and the power of cohesive practice. I began to think -- and work -- around the world.
I caught the story bug in earnest in the early ’90s while living in New Zealand. It happened at the first international storytelling festival. That was the moment when I saw the power of storytelling for the first time and I started hanging out in the library gathering as many stories as I could. I performed as as storyteller, but I soon realized I wanted to hear other's voices more than just my own. There seemed to be something important in sharing stories and working with them. That's why I was part of the first gatherings of organizational storytelling practitioners a decade later.
At the same time I was honing my craft as a facilitator, working with everyone from the Treasury and government departments to volunteer organizations. I worked to connect teams, support groups to get strategic, I even facilitated a successful telecomunications merger. In 2007 I found out about the Art of Hosting. Then one day I met a futurist at a conference who told me one of the top upcoming trends would be "leader as storyteller" and I began to dream of the day my process work and my love of stories would unite.
Now I join StoryWork with a leading edge skill in using participatory practice to help groups become high performing communities, able to step up, co-create a compelling story, and from it, wise sustained action. These days I work around the world with leaders in all levels of public and private organisations and communities. As an international steward of the Art of Hosting network, I teach storyworking skills and participatory practice, and host participatory gatherings all over the globe.
I am sometimes at home in Columbus, Ohio and a lot on the road.
My work demonstrates that our stories are the key to unleashing our potential, conversations are a medium of transformation and the wisdom we need is already in the group.
Living all over the world has taught me
I love it when my passion for story and my love of process can play together!
People tell me I am a powerful synthesiser and meaningmaker, and that they value my insight and ability to make the complex understandable, the simple profound and the pathway clear. People often say they love my stories, feel faith in groups again and feel well and wisely held.
I value creating spaces that lead to great collaboration, learning and curiosity for emergence. I love working with people and for something that really matters to them. I can be incredibly serious and profoundly light at the same time. If we can laugh together, we can ride the challenges together, too. Here's fair warning working with me: There may be more questions than answers -- for me, that's a good thing! And sharing our stories is a good place to start.
Work with me to create a clear, compelling story that opens the door to your flourishing future. Activate the story and discover how it can enhance and extend the impact of your vision, mission and culture or as a focus on issues or potentials.
Working with me can put a fresh focus on your personal or collective story of leadership, purpose, vision or impact. From this foundation, I support you to put together the processes that encourage and invigorate your team and stakeholders into engaged action.
I can work alongside you as coach, mentor or thought partner on a one-to-one or a one-to-many basis. I have a proven track record as a strategic counsel, design support and sounding board either in-person or virtually.