STONEKING STORY SEMINARS

Managing Change through Creative Storytelling

THE SEMINARS, WORKSHOPS & RETREATS

“As to the question, which came first – the chicken or the egg – you must consider the possibility that the egg is that part of the chicken that is trying to remember itself.”                                     

Stoneking writes:

"I love the poet, Muriel Rukeyser, because she understood that “the world is made of stories, not atoms”. You don’t have to be a poet to understand this, but it helps. Have a look around. Stories are a force of nature. We didn’t evolve from apes; we sprang into life, full-blooded, urgent, desirous, embodied by story.

"Story is our essence, the source and outcome of every dream, vision, birth, death, discovery or miracle. Our humanity and inhumanity is rooted in it, tangled in the mystery of “how come?” and the suspense of “what now?”

"When James Joyce was asked where he came up with the stories that inhabited his books, he gestured round the pub: “from that couple over there, and those men by the door, and the woman washing up behind the bar…”

"Story is Nature’s way of becoming conscious of itself. As storytellers, we work with it in order to become conscious of ourselves.The same applies to my workshops. If they present more questions than they answer, you can take solace from the fact that they'll greatly improve the quality of your questions. If they challenge your most enduring prejudices - which many participants tell me they do - they will re-pay you with a new-found openness as well as a more spacious perspective. More than anything else, they will offer you a chance to recover and explore your own unique vision, which has perhaps been slumbering just out of reach. Take them as part of a map to that vast wilderness of the soul,
your own personal hinterland and the as-yet unseen, unheard, stories that are hiding there, part of the inner journey and outer odyssey by which we come to understand that others have passed this way before, and will pass this way again, and the wisdom that all men and women are brothers and sisters in a story well-told.

THESE WORKSHOPS ARE RIGHT FOR YOU IF YOU HAVE


(1) Courage
(2) A hint of genius
(3) A compulsion for Drama
(4) A lust for effective collaboration

__________________________

1. LIVING THE DRAMA: Problems, Goals & Plans

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Daniel Goleman says the best leaders need emotional intelligence. That is to say, they need self-awareness and self-control, they have to be motivated and they have to be working for reasons that go beyond money and status. They need empathy and the ability to understand the emotional make-up of other people and finally, they need the skills to build relationships and social networks. Without all of that, they can’t be good leaders no matter how skilled they might be in other areas.

“It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant,’’ Goleman writes. “They do matter, but mainly as “threshold capabilities”; that is, they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions. But my research, along with other recent studies, clearly shows that emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader.”

World-renowned advertising executive David Ogilvy says great leaders have high standards of personal ethics, they have to be big people and not show any pettiness, they need to have guts under pressure and be resilient in defeat. They should have a capacity for hard work and burning the midnight oil, some degree of charisma or at the very least know how to be charming and persuasive, have a certain streak of unorthodoxy with the ability to think creatively and outside the square, the courage to make tough decisions, show enthusiasm and they always need a sense of humour.

One of the great management thinkers Stephen Covey says great leaders have to inspire trust. “You show others that you believe in their capacity to live up to certain expectations, to deliver on promises, and to achieve clarity on key goals,’’ Covey says. “You don’t inspire trust by micromanaging and second guessing every step people make.” They also clarify their purpose, their vision if you like, and get people involved. “If people are involved in the process, they psychologically own it and you create a situation where people are on the same page about what is really important—mission, vision, values, and goals,” he says.

Great leaders also make sure all the systems are aligned. “This means that you don’t allow there to be conflict between what you say is important and what you measure,’’ he says. “For instance, many times organisations claim that people are important but in fact the structures and systems, including accounting, make them an expense or cost centre rather than an asset and the most significant resource.” And finally, they have to know how to empower people. Their talent is unleashed so that their capacity, their intelligence, their creativity, and their resourcefulness is utilised,’’ he says.

- See more at: http://blog.aimvic.com.au/2013/11/06/leon-gettler-what-makes-a-great-leader/#sthash.nsjscOc5.dpuf

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Daniel Goleman says the best leaders need emotional intelligence. That is to say, they need self-awareness and self-control, they have to be motivated and they have to be working for reasons that go beyond money and status. They need empathy and the ability to understand the emotional make-up of other people and finally, they need the skills to build relationships and social networks. Without all of that, they can’t be good leaders no matter how skilled they might be in other areas.

“It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant,’’ Goleman writes. “They do matter, but mainly as “threshold capabilities”; that is, they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions. But my research, along with other recent studies, clearly shows that emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader.”

World-renowned advertising executive David Ogilvy says great leaders have high standards of personal ethics, they have to be big people and not show any pettiness, they need to have guts under pressure and be resilient in defeat. They should have a capacity for hard work and burning the midnight oil, some degree of charisma or at the very least know how to be charming and persuasive, have a certain streak of unorthodoxy with the ability to think creatively and outside the square, the courage to make tough decisions, show enthusiasm and they always need a sense of humour.

One of the great management thinkers Stephen Covey says great leaders have to inspire trust. “You show others that you believe in their capacity to live up to certain expectations, to deliver on promises, and to achieve clarity on key goals,’’ Covey says. “You don’t inspire trust by micromanaging and second guessing every step people make.” They also clarify their purpose, their vision if you like, and get people involved. “If people are involved in the process, they psychologically own it and you create a situation where people are on the same page about what is really important—mission, vision, values, and goals,” he says.

Great leaders also make sure all the systems are aligned. “This means that you don’t allow there to be conflict between what you say is important and what you measure,’’ he says. “For instance, many times organisations claim that people are important but in fact the structures and systems, including accounting, make them an expense or cost centre rather than an asset and the most significant resource.” And finally, they have to know how to empower people. Their talent is unleashed so that their capacity, their intelligence, their creativity, and their resourcefulness is utilised,’’ he says.

- See more at: http://blog.aimvic.com.au/2013/11/06/leon-gettler-what-makes-a-great-leader/#sthash.nsjscOc5.dpuf

All true leaders will tell you that a leader must be motivated to lead for reasons other than money and status. They need empathy, self-discipline, self-awareness and the ability to understand the emotional make-up of other people. And then they need the skills to build relationships and social networks. Without a having these, you can't be a good leader no matter how skilled you might be in other areas.

It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. “They matter, but mainly as “threshold capabilities”; that is, they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions. What is most important is emotional intelligence. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but s/he still won’t make a great leader.

Great leaders have mature imaginations and high standards of personal ethics; they have to be big people, without any pettiness. They need to have guts under pressure and be resilient in defeat. In addition, they should have a capacity for hard work and burning the midnight oil, as well as some degree of charisma or at the very least know how to be charming and persuasive. Every true leader is relaxed with the unorthodox. They are comfortable thinking and working creatively, outside the square. They have the courage to make tough decisions, show enthusiasm and they always have a sense of humour.

Great leaders also make sure all the systems are aligned. This means that you don’t allow there to be conflict between what you say is important and how you conduct your business. The story matches the reality, and every knows it. Every one can be 'telling' the same story because everyone is in it. It's no good claiming that 'your' people are important when the structures and systems, including accounting, make them an expense or cost centre rather than an asset and the most significant resource. Leaders know how to empower people.

 

In this one-day, learner-centered leadership seminar participants will use story and dramatic situation to find, enact and explore the emotional bodies of their own, individual mythologies and the ways in which these stories impact on the relationships they have with others.

Over six life-changing hours, participants will learn about and apply a range of tools, strategies and perspectives that will enable them to more effectively access and tell their own stories as well as listen to and respond to the stories of others. Topics to include:

1. creative listening & problem solving,

2. the challenges of the problem-driven story,

3. navigating change and vision building

4. understanding your "audience",

5. identifying needs and formulating goals,

5. managing fear & facilitating trust 

2. THE VISION RETREAT : You, Me, Us & Them 

The Managerial Art of Harnassing Drama

Devised & presented by Billy Marshall Stoneking

PREMISE

To be alive is to be creatively engaged in “the business of drama”.

The "why" of every organization is a question about vision. Why do we do what we do? The answer resides in the effectiveness of stories that by which the organization defines and projects itself into the world, a dynamic that is conducted by "characters", in this case, by the people whose ideas, commitment, passion and creativity form the living meaning of the company's raison d'etre

The task of those organizations and businesses that seek an active and transformative role in realizing the potential and the promise of their present and future goals is to uncover, develop and promote a personal dramatic vision – one that encourages openness and emotional intelligence in oneself and within collaborative opportunities that exist among one’s colleagues and co-workers. Such a vision offers a sense of personal connectedness and loyalty in one’s customers. Without it, growth, experience and achievement of any kind are rarely attained.  

 

THE VISION RETREAT

The VISION RETREAT provokes and draws out the creative vision of every participant during this intensive, weekend workshop (Friday through Sunday). Involvement in a series of structured and highly collaborative and interactive experiences, will assist participants in building their own awareness of the living situations in which they find themselves, whilst providing living and spontaneous opportunities for them to develop the trust and responsibility necessary for innovative and effective decision making.

 

WHY A RETREAT?

Stoneking says: "Working with companies and government agencies over the years, I have come to realize that one of the major issues confronting both business and government - and one that hardly ever gets noticed, let alone talked about - is that almost all of them assume that they are working with a 'normal' set of expectations, when indeed most of their problems are in some way or another connected to the fact that their expectations are too low." 

Companies seeking to foster a stimulating and supportive environment for creative teamwork and cooperation often invest their money and time in brief but intensive in-service training sessions facilitated by a dynamic speaker who presents a highly entertaining program with high impact, memorable phrases and very limited consequences. While a one- or two-hour seminar is not without its value and, when delivered with punch,  can often encourage insights and realizations that will reward the company in many unexpected ways, The VISION RETREAT offers something completely different in terms of scope and practical consequences.

Participants are immersed in a living process that they, themselves, create, sustain and develop. The discoveries that are made are REAL discoveries, not manufactured and predictable outcomes that occur regardless of the actions of those involved.

What happens is their creation, what is learned is what they determine is necessary for them to learn. The fears they identify and work with are their fears.

So why a vision retreat? 

  • To create a sense of occasion
  • To enter a creative, neutral space away from the day-to-day routine and its accompanying habits of thought, action and defined relationships.
  • To construct the sort of on-going living continuum of discovery and interaction and share-ability of experience that is the essence of every initiation ceremony.  
  • To provide a dramatic and sustained shift in relationship possibilities and expectations.
  • To provoke the sense of wonder and insight that comes from an uninterrupted, lived process.
  •  To provide the necessary conditions for an experience that illuminates the unity of work and play, and the myriad ways in which they support, inspire and give meaning to each other.

  

WHAT ACTUALLY OCCURS?

FRIDAY - Working Together and the Grammar of Drama

AM

Greetings, morning tea - at venue TBA

Introduction to the weekend

Exploratory exercises in trusting and sharing – group story-telling, dramatic interview, small group, personal true stories (the most important person in my life – the most memorable experience in my life, etc)

Introduction to the GRAMMAR OF DRAMA, as it was revealed in the previous exploratory exercises. The essential questions that are raised and answered by every dramatic story.  

LUNCH

PM

Play and discuss examples of dramatic monologues.

Participants go away and devise/write a dramatic monologue, no longer than half a page single-spaced or a full page double-spaced.

DINNER

EVENING

Participants to complete their monologues. Free time

 

SATURDAY – What am I? is not the same as Who am I?

AM

Presentation of monologues w/ improvisational interrogation/interaction following each presentation.

LUNCH

PM

Finish presentation of monologues, w/ improvisational interrogation/interaction

Casting the Dramatic Scenes. Participants decide which monologue characters are best suited to working together to produce a scene that evidences a compelling dramatic change in circumstances.  4 participants per group: two actors and one director. Characters for the scene must be chosen from the 3 available monologues characters presented by the members of that particular group.

EVENING : Screenings of dramatic scenes, and a film.

 

SUNDAY – The Drama of IT All! 

AM

Working groups. (3 participants per group) devise, cast, rehearse their original, group-devised dramatic scenes.

LUNCH

PM

Presentation and discussion of the scenes.

5pm DEPART FOR SYDNEY

      ORIGINS - A TRIBAL WORKSHOP

  

AN OVERVIEW

By recognizing and calling upon one's tribal identity the screen storyteller is more likely to intersect with character and story, and thus more effectively to conduct the emotional energy from inside the drama rather than as a spectator tyrannised by prejudice, formula and fear.

After years of working with indigenous storytellers and writers, and as a result of the interplay and debate between them and non-indigenous storytellers and writers, Billy Marshall Stoneking has devised an inspiring and revolutionary workshop that reconnects participants with their tribal origins whilst promoting insights and a character-based engagement with their own, often unappreciated stories.

The workshop provides opportunities for creatives from all disciplines to make the inner journey and the outer odyssey towards telling more authentic and dramatically powerful stories for the screen.

 Every participant is required to make a short film (in any style, genre) that dramatizes their “tribal Identity.

Number of participants: 14-18 persons

Duration : 5 days (over 3 weekends) 

 

WEEK ONE  -  Days 1 & 2 : THE LORE OF OBJECTS 

 Participants to select two items (objects, images or music) from the following categories.  (no more than one object per category)

 Something old

 Something new

 Something borrowed

 Something sacred

 Something profane

 Participants to tell the stories that reveal the emotional significance of each item to the storyteller.

 Preparation for Week #2:

 By mutual agreement, participants form paired partnerships.

 Without consultation each team member selects a scene each from two different feature films (DVD)

 Scenes must be no longer than five minutes in length and no shorter than 1 minute

                                      

Selection Criteria

  Scene A : a scene that presents/dramatizes/elucidates or in some way conveys what you imagine or perceive to be your partner's TRIBAL IDENTITY.

  Scene B : a scene that presents/dramatizes/elucidates or in some way illustrates the way you SEE or UNDERSTAND your own TRIBAL IDENTITY.

 

WEEK TWO - Days 3 & 4  : THE TRIBAL CONNECTION :

SEEING OURSELVES IN OTHERS

Participants to arrive at the workshop with scenes cued and ready to show. Participants must be prepared to talk about the choices they have made and why.

 In preparing for the presentation of scenes, participants may have to view a number of different films and scenes to find one that is most appropriate in REPRESENTING or REMINDING them of some significant aspect of their partner's character.

  Consider their values, attitudes, hopes, fears, history, etc

  DO NOT disclose your choices to one another - or any one else - prior to the workshop.

  Research is permissible so long as you DON'T MAKE FILM-BASED ENQUIRIES (e.g.: "what is your favorite film?")

  Feel free to inquire personally but make your inquiries about biographical details. "What was the most memorable summer of your life and what made it memorable?" "How did you feel about your siblings?"

  IMPORTANT::: Don't be afraid to make decisions based on your intuitive understanding of your partner.

 

Preparation for WEEK #3 (DAY FIVE) 

 Each participant to make a short film (no more than 5 minutes) that dramatises one’s tribal identity.

Film may be any genre, including documentary and dramatic monologue.  May be edited in camera or in Final Cut Pro (or similar).

 

DAY FIVE  - THE MYTH OF SELF  

Approximately three weeks later, the individual tribal films of the participants will be screened and discussed by the entire group, identifying audience as well as tribe.  Under special circumstances a modified version of this will be conducted via the internet.

Interested in taking part in the legendary TRIBAL WORKSHOP? Write to

Stoneking Seminars

 

           FROM THE ARCHIVES

IN AUSTRALIA

 

IN CANBERRA

Canberra Tribal Workshop

Sponsored by the AFP and the federal Department of Immigration. Stoneking's legendary Tribal Workshop was the perfect solution for addressing issues of prejudice, violence and misunderstanding within a burgeoning multi-cultural community. 18 participants from diverse cuktural backgrounds attended and produced 18, individual 'tribal films' which were screened to a packed theatre at Canberra's Arc Cinema Details at  http://www.shortstorybigscreen.com.au/information.html


IN SYDNEY

In November, 2011, Stoneking Seminars was invited by NRMA Insurance to conduct a number of intensive workshops over four consecutive days in which 950 middle management personnel from across Australia participated in a series of unique, 45-minute story workshops, aimed at developing improved client services and more effective communication between managers and staff. The sessions proved so successful, Stoneking was asked to reprise the workshop for senior management at the Sydney offices of the company.

 

IN ADELAIDE

At the invitation of the Media Resource Centre in Adelaide, Billy Marshall Stoneking worked with five teams of filmmakers on the 19-20 September, 2011, helping them develop their ideas/scripts for the upcoming TropFest film competition. While he was in Adelaide he also hosted an informal evening workshop with a small group of committed local feature screenwriters. Billy will return to South Australia in December for more workshops and seminars. Watch this space for details! 


IN NEW ZEALAND

Dunedin

Since 2010, Stoneking has been conducting one- and two-day seminars in and around Dunedin, New Zealand, sponsored by Short Film Otago. Responses to Stoneking's brand of character-based, mediumistic storytelling have provoked so much excitement and interest among those in attendance he is planning to return to NZ at the end of the year to conduct a a further series of more lengthy workshops in Dunedin, Queenstown, Auckland and Wellington. For more details about Short Film Otago, please contact Nikki Stirling at nstirling@nhnz.tv  or ring her on 03 4799800