Facilitation & Training


Because collaboration is one of our core values, many Storybranding Group services are based on group processes that engage work teams in a wide variety of ways. We have extensive experience in creatively designing and intuitively facilitating planning processes and sessions, workshops, trainings, retreats and other offsites, and focus groups–many of which are built into our development processes or offered as stand-alone services.

Branding and Message Development Processes

Our core branding and message development processes almost always feature a highly facilitative approach to engaging leadership groups, planning teams and/or whole organizations in the development of a brand identity that participants recognize as capturing who they really are. Our interactive processes typically include exploration of an organization’s founding story; current organizational identity and style; mission, vision and values; external perceptions and dynamics; positioning and storyline development.

We’re adept at creating the kind of environment that stimulates dialog and participation, and at developing a variety of creative exercises that lead to new discoveries and fresh ways of looking at the past, present and future. Clients have described our approach as fun, engaging, insightful and productive.


Leadership Development and Communications Training

Training is a core component of our work–whether an organization is introducing a new brand, rolling out a communications initiative or launching a new strategic direction. Our interactive training programs are designed to involve employees, define their roles and help them take an active part in moving the organization forward. We have very specific expertise in delivering brand-based communications and brand-based behavior training programs–initiatives that empower employees to communicate a brand and demonstrate it through their workplace actions.

We’ve also delivered story-based leadership development training programs for a variety of clients, helping participants understand who they are as leaders and how to leverage the “story type” that defines them for greater workplace success and fulfillment.


Customized Workshops

In addition to our complete development processes, we also offer workshop formats to help a work group or leadership team explore a topic through the story-based framework.

Our workshops have included:

  • Change Management 101: Preparing, Managing and Engaging Your Organization for Change
  • What’s your story? Using Story-based Communications Tools to Engage Your Stakeholders and Build Value for Your Organization
  • Climb the Internal Communications Success Ladder: How to Inspire and Motivate Your People With More Effective Messaging and Employee Engagement Approaches
  • Personal Branding: Living Your Story in Times of Transition
  • When the Product is You: Branding from Authentic Self

Customized workshops can be developed based on client need, and we offer workshops based on any of our speaking topics as well.


Retreats and Planning Sessions

A story-based framework can also be an engaging, innovative and thought-provoking format for organizational and team retreats or offsites. This stimulating approach to framing discussions, shaping creative exercises and exploring options is especially well suited to organizations grappling with identity; mission, vision and values; or purpose-driven strategic direction.

Clients can also use our story-based creative inquiry/brainstorming process to generate ideas, solutions or approaches from a variety of story-based perspectives. Similar to a “six hats” approach–which ensures that a team reviews a situation from multiple angles—story-based creative inquiry provides a framework for exploring fresh terrain and averting tried-and-true thinking.


Focus Groups and Individual Interviews

Cindy Atlee has conducted literally thousands of focus groups, triads, dyads and individual interviews with consumer, business and employee audiences, on topics ranging from the everyday (such as grocery shopping and Internet activity) to the deeply personal (such as indebtedness and serious illness). Clients say her facilitation style is imaginative, engaging and effective.

The Storybranding Group has also developed a propriety qualitative Motive Mapping research technique that helps clients understand the story-based roles they’ve been “cast” in by key target audiences—and what motivates them to remain loyal or to disengage. Because most of this information lives in the conscious, typical research methodologies can’t go deep enough to get truly meaningful feedback.

Through individual interviews or mini focus groups, Motive Mapping helps clients more deeply explore target audience perceptions, attitudes and behaviors, and get typically hard-to-access emotional feedback on how various storylines affect their values, feelings and motivation.

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Why you must tell the world what you’re for

This is the second blog post in my three-part series on the who/why/what of branding, professional/leadership development and team/culture building.  Last month, I had the amazing privilege of working with 1,500 educator-leaders at the National Education Association’s annual leadership summit.  These are educators who do even more than… Read More