This is the current list of stories which we deliver live at events. We are constantly making new ones (and if you have a good idea for one please let us know).
Think of our stories like building blocks. They can be used to create an unbelievable keynote, be interspersed between other speakers and around the coffee/lunch breaks, build a workshop, or any combination of the above.
Every musician has the same 12 notes to work with as every other, and their job is to create a unique and appealing product that their fans love. That is also the goal of every business. This fun, interactive story uses live music to show that it is not the tools we have, it is what we do with them that makes the difference.
Apple’s 1984 commercial is universally regarded as one of the best TV ads ever made. This story of its creation is a tale of fear, persistence, and knowing what you stand for as a brand.
Muhammad Ali was stripped of his license and title for refusing to serve in Vietnam. In fighting his way back to the top, he became “the people’s champion”, showing the power of courage and believing in yourself.
Why is Apple one of the most beloved and valuable brands in the world? This story shows how their obsession with simplicity, the customer experience, and constant innovation has driven their success.
A 4-minute mile was believed by many to be impossible until Roger Bannister thought about the solution differently and broke the barrier in 1954. We see the race and its impact on sport, and see the limiting power of mental barriers.
The Beatles had a perfect business which changed music, fashion, design, film, and spiritualism. Their chemistry made them great, and ultimately tore them apart. This story is a master class in Change and getting the ‘People’ things right.
In 2007 the Washington Post wanted to test the power of the lenses we all see the world through. So they sent a violinist into a Metro station to busk, videotaping the reaction. The results will surprise you, and raise interesting questions about how your people and customers see your organization.
Ballet’s Pas de Deux is a wonderful example of teamwork. Two performers must be completely responsive and selfless to create magic. We show this powerful lesson using a breathtaking performance of the pas de deux “ Belong”.
This live music story shows how the interaction of different instruments and rhythms gives us new musical styles. It demonstrates that innovation often comes simply from applying what is already there in a different way.
John Bramblitt went blind at age 29 and took up painting. Today he makes a living as an artist and teaches sighted inner-city kids to paint. This incredible story shows how he works and how he has learned to see the world differently.
This story sees the pace of change in the world through the lens of a 117 year old woman’s life. We see that Change is a constant and ultimately a Choice: we choose to change or resist and, if we do, pay the price of resistance.
At age 65, Churchill was a washout, relegated to the backbenches of British Parliament. He went on to save the world from Hitler with his passion and tireless work ethic. This is the story of one of the greatest leaders of our time.
Starting as street performers, Cirque du Soleil has become the world’s greatest live event creator. Their story of fearlessness, collaboration, and dreaming big has fulfilled every business’ dream: they have almost no competition.
Jazz is a wonderful model for business today and Coltrane was one of its greatest innovators. We show and hear how jazz works – a basic song with which players improvise – and see how that applies to work environments.
The 14 year old Romanian gymnast did the “impossible” by scoring the first perfect 10 in gymnastics at the Montreal Olympics. She did it not once, but 7 times. This is a story of what perfect execution looks like in action.
Miles Davis redefined music many times in his career. Perhaps his greatest insight was that the spaces between the notes are as important as the notes themselves. We show how powerful this simple idea is to anyone.
This is the amazing story of the organization in Mumbai which delivers 400,000 lunchboxes daily using bikes, trains, and foot as efficiently as FedEx. They have been studied by major business schools and corporations around the world.
This is a fun audience participation exercise which gets everyone up and energized by drumming. In addition to having loud fun, audiences learn Rhythm 101. We often use this to kick off awards ceremonies with a big bang!
Sir James Dyson has created a global consumer appliance juggernaut with a culture of innovation at his company which celebrates failure and is fearless about taking risks. We see and hear the Dyson philosophy at work and understand what it takes to really commit to innovation.
Terry was the young Canadian hero who ran the equivalent of a marathon every day on an artificial leg to raise money for cancer research. While the cancer beat him, millions of people around the world still run annually in his honour.
American founding father Benjamin Franklin had an insatiable curiosity and keen intellect. Despite his busy schedule, he jammed ten lives of achievement into one. His is a wonderful study in curiosity, time management, and self discipline.
Angered by the world’s refusal to help the starving people of Ethiopia, Geldof put a bowl on his kitchen table to raise money from friends. Live Aid resulted, and he went on to change global consciousness, risking everything in the process.
Not a single person has ever been able to make a golf ball do exactly what they want it to day after day, year after year. We look at why, with a powerful message about “head games” and focus.
This music interactive shows how many of the world’s most popular songs have been written with the same chords but with completely melodies over them. The songs we remember have melodic “hooks” that stick in our heads and we can’t get them out. We show this in action and challenge audiences on the hooks they have to capture and keep great people and customers.
Houdini redefined the art and entertainment of magic and challenged us all on what really is possible. We show some of Houdini’s incredible feats and then involve the audience in some real magic. What kind of magic do you create for your people and customers?
Father-son team Dick and Rick Hoyt are the greatest triathlon team in history, despite Rick being unable to move or speak. For over 20 years they have run marathons and competed in IronMan, inspiring audiences to tears, and showing how we judge possibility based on what we see on the surface.
Rudyard Kipling’s wonderful poem which speaks volumes about leadership.
Ray Anderson, CEO of the world’s largest carpet tile manufacturer, realized that his company was destroying the environment. So he rallied Interface to create the first “zero impact” corporation, showing the power of a big vision in business.
The most ambitious project ever undertaken by humanity, the space station has been built by over 100,000 people from different countries at different times. For organizations with silo issues, this is what collaboration really looks like.
JFK challenged his country to put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. 400,000 people made it happen. It is a story of vision, courage, and making one of the greatest marks in human history.
Mary Kay set out to create a business where women could have economic freedom. She created a multi-billion dollar enterprise based on the power of positive reinforcement and making everyone feel important. An incredible leader.
This is the inspiring story of a 12-year-old Toronto boy who, after reading a newspaper story, made it his life’s mission to eradicate child labour. Today, two million young people around the world volunteer with him to change the world.
Many leaders fail to learn lessons from the past. Musicians start with the traditions that have come before and use them as the foundation for creating something new. We hear examples, and see how it can be applied in business.
How do ideas evolve? This story looks at the evolution of one idea – the song My Favourite Things – and shows how an idea penned by Rogers and Hammerstein for The Sound of Music has been adapted and changed by artists to present fresh iterations of the original idea. We can all be innovators.
The young seamstress from Alabama ignited the civil rights movement in the US by refusing to give her bus seat to a white person. Rosa’s simple act of defiance shows that in even the simplest actions lie the seeds for momentous change.
Is your workplace fun? Could it be more productive and engaging if it was? Volkswagen wanted to explore this idea, so established Fun Theory to see what would happen if they made boring activities more fun. The results are irrefutable. This is one of their most amusing experiments from Sweden.
With rare footage of the genius at work, we see creativity in action. This story also looks at accountability – being prepared to sign every day the way an artist signs their work.
The simple act of changing 4 tires on a car fast has evolved over the last 50+ years from industry to science. We look at the astounding evolution and muse on how simplifying other aspects of business can lead to transformation.
Chad is an amazing young man who has made it his life mission to clean up the Mississippi River. With a small team of volunteers, enlisting riverside communities, he is succeeding – one mile at a time. Community action in action!
This is an incredible story of a part-time music teacher, a garbage picker, and a symphony orchestra conductor in Paraguay who started making instruments from garbage to teach kids music to keep them out of trouble and off online medicines drugs. Today their orchestra tours the world playing Mozart and teaching the world that anything is possible.
Rituals have always been important parts of culture. What are your company’s rituals? We show two very different kinds of ritual: The “haka” done by the New Zealand All Blacks, and an incredible Mandala created by a group of Buddhist monks. While opposite in style, both are done to get participants into an ideal state for top performance.
The man who broke baseball’s race barrier is an unbelievable human being. Despite death threats to him and his family, humiliation, and insult, he refused to quit, and became one of the greatest leaders in the history of sport.
Anita Roddick, a British mom, started The Body Shop in her kitchen based on the principle “Profit with Principle”. She ended up creating not only a great company, but what today we call Corporate Social Responsibility.
You don’t get called The Greatest Rock Band in History because you have attitude. You get there through hard work. The Rolling Stones show that even 50 years later, their work ethic is what got them to the top and keeps them there.
This hilarious story shows how Second City has turned improv comedy into a business and trained many of the world’s most successful comics. We show how basic principles of their work can be applied to business, and do a comedy improv workshop for fun.
This incredible story shows how Shackleton’s 28-man crew survived 20 months stuck in the Antarctic with no food. This may be the greatest adventure/ survival story of all time, and has many lessons in leadership and teamwork.
This hilarious story of thinking outside the box follows the evolution of the Diamond Shreddies advertising campaign. It revolutionized a brand, won top honours at global competitions, showed the power of taking risks, and was a wonderful lesson in leadership.
A busker in Santa Monica inadvertently kicked off Playing for Change, an organization which harnesses the power of street musicians around the world to create incredible music. Proceeds from sales are funneled back into communities to build music programs and community centres. This is a stirring story of the power of music to heal and bring us together.
Starbucks is a true Five Level business. This is the story of how Schultz built the brand by differentiating a commodity based on creating an experience. The lessons around people and service are applicable to any business.
In this second Starbucks story, we look at how they lost their way and almost went out of business in 2007. Howard Schultz returned as CEO and re-focused them on their core values, turning the business around to record levels.
This 3 minute humourous rap song is a call-to-arms on behalf of audiences everywhere to put an end to the bad PowerPoint which is so prevalent in business today. Tell stories, don’t show bad charts!!
What would you quit your job for? This is the incredible story of the Burmese democracy fighter who has lived most of her adult life confined to her house. Aung San stood up to an army, and became one of the world’s greatest heroes.
What are the stories that define you and your organization? In this interactive we challenge people to tell their life stories in 60 seconds, answering the question “How did you get here?”. The result and the experience will change how your people think of themselves and see each other.
Matt Harding became an Internet celebrity by doing a silly dance in locations around the world and posting them to a website. Along the way, some kids taught him a huge life lesson – the power of Inclusiveness.
A hilarious examination of a child’s continual probing into the essence of things – by constantly asking “Why?”.
Oprah overcame the odds against her to become the most powerful woman in entertainment. Hers is a story of the power of believing in yourself and not listening to those who tell you what is and is not possible.
A wonderful story that reminds us that it is not just what you do, but how you do it: not just what you say, but how you say it.
Zappos is the Platinum Standard for service levels on the Internet, selling billions of dollars a year in shoes to a very loyal customer base. Their success is driven by an amazing work environment and CEO Tony Hsieh’s passion for his people.