Since the early 2000s, business storytelling has become a widely accepted strategy for companies around the world. Stories are harnessed in advertising, marketing, PR, and leadership and culture development. After recently reading the book Once Upon an Innovation and how the authors apply story techniques to creative problem solving and innovation, I invited them onto the podcast to learn more.

Jean Storlie and Mimi Sherlock share how stories trigger the brain to release oxytocin, the trust and empathy hormone, making them a powerful tool for understanding and addressing users’ needs. This also means that storytelling methods can be applied to the other half of the battle—getting others on board with new ideas moving through the various checkpoints in an organization. 

Although innovation is a very emotional process with its ups and downs, my guests illustrate how storytelling can be applied to accelerate innovation and lead change. 

Guest Details:

Name: Jean Storlie
Title: President/Owner
Company: Storlietelling LLC
LinkedIn Website  | Twitter

Name: Mimi Sherlock
Title:  Global Director, Strategic Insights – Taste
Company: International Flavors & Fragrances 
LinkedIn Website 


Co-author of Once Upon an Innovation, Jean Storlie designs and facilitates processes to enable creative collaboration in solving business challenges. She incorporates storytelling and story-based techniques to create highly engaging strategic planning, innovation, and team building sessions. She also offers coaching and workshops to teach professionals how to create meaningful stories for their business communications and leadership. 


Mimi Sherlock is the leader of Consumer Intelligence for IFF’s Nourish Division.  She is responsible for inspiring and motivating creative teams by bringing actionable insights to life and facilitating end to-end innovation. Prior to this, Mimi was the Principal and Owner of Sherlock Creative Thinking, a creativity and innovation consultancy focused on the people side of innovation that served a variety of clients and industries across the globe. 

Through her highly engaging and experiential approach, Mimi helped business teams in companies like IFF, Visa, L’Oreal, and Nestle crack the code on gnarly problems . . . and enjoy the process. She has been an invited leader and facilitation trainer for the Creative Problem Solving Institute for close to thirty years. As a natural ideator, if you give Mimi a challenge, she’s likely to spew out twenty-five ideas in under two minutes.