Kate’s work is genuinely innovative, unique and thought provoking. It is often said there are 3 levels of knowledge: 1. Where you think that everything is easy and simple. 2. When you recognise how complex a topic is and how little you know and/or struggle to convey it. 3. When you can make the complex simple and accessible. Kate is definitely operating from the third - and deepest - level and, as such, offers insights as to how to reach a similar level.Whatever your industry, Kate’s storytelling ability contains a wealth of knowledge.
— Professor Damian Hughes is the best-selling author of How to Change Absolutely Anything

My name is Kate Hammer, and I'm a commercial storyteller. That's been my "job title" since 2007, and my principal activity since 2000. 

I created storyFORMing to explain (to myself, first off) why some commercial stories are so compelling. 

Workshops are running thanks to Owen Turner of United by Design, Abhay Adhikari (PhD) of Digital Identities, and Designing Stories. Thanks too to Adam Powell for his participation and perspicacity in the early days. Thanks to 6 headsCambridge University Judge Business School Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning and Austrian Marketing University for inviting me to share storyFORMing. 

For news and updates, please follow me on twitter @kate_hammer


Creating StoryFORMing

storyFORMing grew out of work in the context of innovation company KILN on Future-Tense Stories

At KILN, I've had the pleasure of learning Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving (CPS) from one of the world's most generous and prolific teachers, Gregg Fraley and, beginning in 2014, with Dr Min Basadur who pioneered the application of CPS in industry settings in the 1970s and has devoted more than 40 years to helping teams learn to solve problems collaboratively.

While CPS and KILN was the backdrop, the specific trigger for its development was that I wanted to offer something tangibly useful to an audience of 600 retail executives, to whom I had been invited to speak by the Institute of International Research in July 2012. I had called the speech "Heroes of the Purchase Journey" and was hunting for a visual way to represent the relationship between heroes and customers. The shapes and colours of the canvas came to me under a shady tree during a Memorial Day picnic with my collaborator Indy Neogy.

By early June 2012, I was ready to share the first storyFORMing canvas with 60 or so people in a breakout session at City University's Innovation, Creativity & Leadership Day. In autumn 2012, I began running 1:1 conversations using storyFORMing as a basis to build clarity. 

In early 2013, I undertook formal training as a business coach, to develop my style as a thinking partner and workshop leader. I studied at Barefoot, and intend to earn a Postgraduate Certificate from University of Chester, a leader in work-based learning. In 2013-14 I trained at BeeLeaf Institute, learning systemic NLPt (neuro-linguistic psychotherapy) with contemporary psychotherapist Pam Gawler-Wright. What I have learned in these contexts is changing how I conduct work-through-conversation and how I regard galvanising stories (and their limits).

With KILN's support, in April 2013 I published this article on using story in innovation work. I was honoured to be named Innovation Excellence Top 40 Blogger of 2013. In 2014, my posts on novelty and the gag reflex and Aristotle's ethics in innovation have widened the circle of conversation about making meaning in business and organisational life. Since then, I've continued to climb up the ranks of recognised bloggers on innovation, creativity and workplace imagination, ranks where women are outnumbered 3 to 1. I've presented workshops at CPSI (where I also shared the closing keynote with Gregg in 2014), Intrapreneurship Conference, #Planning-ness, MRS Impact, ICOT, KEEN with IPSIM in 2016 and the glimmer of joining SxSW in 2017. 

 September 2013:   I was delighted to join 3 other entrepreneurs at Burlington Danes Academy. Our panel was organised by the SVC2UK initiative Founders4Schools. Here I introduce myself to a group of sixth form pupils in less than 3 minutes:

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