Summary of Squirrel Inc.

A Fable of Leadership Through Storytelling

Jossey-Bass, more...

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Squirrel Inc. book summary
Once upon a management lesson: how to tell seven types of stories that create the outcomes you want.


8 Overall

8 Applicability

9 Innovation

7 Style


Any leader will benefit from mastering sincere storytelling that is designed to achieve specific organizational objectives. By using some storytelling techniques himself, in the form of a fable about business-owning squirrels, author Stephen Denning teaches you how to tap into your natural storytelling ability, so you can focus your listeners’ goals and vision. He explains what types of stories elicit a variety of desired outcomes. He also teaches you how to tell your story and explains the reaction you can expect to generate if the story is apt. Storytelling lets leaders engage people, helps them relate to the company’s goals and creates a forward-looking organization. With Denning’s guidance, you can use your ’once upon a time’ skills to build camaraderie, focus and happy endings. recommends this book to all leaders, since storytelling is destined to become an unexpectedly critical skill.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Which seven storytelling techniques accomplish specific objectives
  • How to tell each kind of story
  • How to determine what story to tell
  • Why storytelling is a natural means of leading; communicating ideas, values and information; fostering teamwork and defeating rumors


In a Nutshell
"So this squirrel goes into a bar..." begins the fable, referring to the treetop nectar bar where the corporate critters from Squirrel Inc. hang out. The bartender narrates a story about Diana, a rising executive who comes into the bar all dejected. She feels like...
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About the Author

Business consultant Stephen Denning, a former World Bank executive, has worked with such companies as GE, IBM, and McDonald’s to help manage change through organizational storytelling. He is also the author of The Springboard: How Storytelling Ignites Action in Knowledge-Era Organizations.

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Contained in Knowledge Pack:

  • Knowledge Pack
    Leadership Fables
    Once upon a time, some leadership parables illustrated important perspectives, even if the lead characters were squirrels or magicians.

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