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Karen Dietz
PhD


Karen Dietz is a veteran in business storytelling and is one of the pioneers in the field. She works with leaders who want to harness the power of compelling communication to make a difference, inspire others to action, create engagement plus alignment, leave a lasting legacy, and never ever be boring.
 
In working with stories, Karen draws on her know-how to provide practical experience, guidance, and tools that get the job done. Her clients include Walt Disney Imagineering, Chase Manhattan Bank, Avery Dennison, Thrivent Financial, Veterans Administration, Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, Citrix, Just In Time for Foster Youth, and Princess Cruises.
 
As a speaker and storyteller for business, John Wiley publishers recruited Karen for their Dummies series. In 2013 her rich how-to book Business Storytelling for Dummies, was published, quickly praised, and became a bestseller within a year. Steve Denning, when writing his bestselling book The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling: Mastering the Art and Discipline of Business Narrative (2005), asked Karen to contribute to the chapter on storytelling and values based on her years of work in the field. Karen also collaborated on a book with Lori Silverman, writing two sections in Wake Me Up When The Data Is Over: How Organizations Use Stories To Drive Results (2006) where 70+ amazing companies participated. Since 2005, Karen is featured in a total of 8 books on business storytelling.
 
Karen has also created the world’s largest free online library of quality material on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it. Join her 17,000+ followers for the resource that is used by businesses, story professionals, and educators worldwide. Witness her in action as she opens up the San Diego, CA 2013 TEDx conference with her talk on the impact of story listening to change lives and companies.
 
She received her Master’s and PhD from the Department of Folklore at the University of Pennsylvania, where the department and was the most advanced place to study in the field when Karen attended. During that time Karen learned the power of storytelling plus the care and feeding of stories from a traditional Chippewa Cree sacred storyteller. As Karen moved from academics into the business world, she continued being trained in the art of storytelling by internationally top ranked performance tellers. Her BA is in communication from Marietta College in OH, and she spent 3 years as a journalist.
 
Karen is also the former Executive Director of the National Storytelling Network, a national association of 2,400 performance storytellers. Her mission during those 3.5 years was to grow, develop, and expand the influence of storytelling. For 6 years she was also the Program Director, then Chair, of the Story in Organizations community of practice, which helped establish business storytelling as a field of work both here and abroad.