About Simon Hodges and Storyourself
Since 2011, I’ve run a copywriting and storytelling company which launched as Words That Change and then itself changed to Storyourself. It’s taken me from board rooms to activist conferences to time dreaming at my desk about the best way to get spine surgeons to a conference or skiers to wear sunglasses.
I don’t mind the diversity of these projects. One day I’m running a storytelling programme for undocumented migrants, the next sharing the same principles to a big-4 accountany sales team. Their interests, concerns, motivations and fears are the same, but they express themselves differently. My job is to honour both what keeps them the same and is different. Therein lies the story.
I create transformative spaces where people can get their story heard. When writing, I look for the heart of what the project or company is about. What draws these practices together is listening.
I’ve told myth and folk tale for eleven years because it’s the most thrilling instance of the common theme of all my work: there are ways we can be that hold us together and ways we can be that let us fall apart. Honour the former you build relationship and community, the latter and they whither.
Business must see itself as part of this dynamic. The stories it tells, the way it expresses must enhance the relationships we have to each other and to business. We’ve seen what another way can do and the ignorance is costing us.
When a story comes into contact with business, our words become more humble, we’re more ready to take on another’s view. We’re more ready, in fact, to live in a dynamic fast-changing world where all our truths are needed to serve our next step. We find in ourselves what is worth protecting and bringing out into the world. We show how each of our tiny contributions is joined to the struggle to a more enlightened way life. We re-embed ourselves in the world.
I like that I can quietly employ this approach when asked to prepare a workshop on professional purpose before writing an article on sustainability in electric cars. All of it involves listening in to our common humanity, finding out words and ideas will fit. Hopefully, I learn something about my own humanity in the process and if not, there’s always the next assignment.
“I really enjoyed your final session at E-motive! Within a few minutes I had shared my joy, sadness, doubts, and fears with a complete stranger and (without going over the top) made a few life affirmations. All this before I even knew his name or his organisation. Needless to say – it was one of my favourite endings ever to a conference.”
~ Jordan Junge, Social Innovation Exchange