True Storytelling Course

The True Storytelling® Course helps you achieve personal growth and fosters synergy between your personal and professional life. Upon completing the course, you will gain the ability to navigate high-complexity situations more effectively and acquire tools to foster commitment, psychological safety, and collective intelligence through the seven principles of True Storytelling®

What have participants gain from the course

True Storytelling® programs have run in Denmark and the U.S. for a wide variety of participants including leaders, project managers, entrepreneurs, and students. Open courses are also a part of Masters Degree programs at several universities. Past participants have been leaders, consultants, and professionals in healthcare, education, law enforcement, and private industry, e.g. life sciences and biotech

The participant feedback from True Storytelling® graduates indicates that the methodology helps them to:

  • Find their own true story by identifying their core values                      
  • Better manage personal and professional conflicts
  • Create and sustain project commitment,
  • Better manage and prevent stress by creating flow
  • Create and maintain Teambuilding
  • Better manage situations of high complexity 

Feedback further tells us they are using the 7 principles of True Storytelling® to plan, facilitate and actuate future strategies and projects; and it’s working equally well in workshops and coaching.

The power that True Storytelling® combines personal and professional growth with ethical tools for change management. 

Commitment through Together-telling

True Storytelling ® is a principled methodology for positive change management; it is not just about being a good storyteller but rather about your ability to co-create narratives with others, thereby fostering commitment for strategies and ideas, collective intelligence, and psychological safety. This can occur in your family, within a team, in an organization, in the local community, or regionally. The methodology combines storytelling while working on identification and development of personal and professional values.

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What to expect: True Storytelling® Foundation Course

The aim of the Foundation Course is to give you a deeper understanding of the 7 principles of True Storytelling® and the theory behind it. In the program, we focus on you as a person and how you can be your best possible self. We work to develop “your” story that can help provide you with a deeper understanding of the “authentic you” which serves to motivate and sustain your inner strength, both privately and professionally.

You also learn a number of methods and tools that are linked to the various principles. These principles, when put into action, are proven to be effective in helping you plan, facilitate, and evaluate your private and professional life.

Through the course, you work on your own case study or a challenge you have recognized as a block to advancement. If the course participants are within a particular organization, it will focus on a common task, while combining with the participants personal stories. E.g. bringing two departments together by creating a new culture, allowing the facilitation and implementation a new strategy.

Module 1

Module  1 –  Bring your own personal case and/or the case of your organization. Focus will be on learning the True Storytelling methodology and together-telling. The first two principles in True Storytelling will be introduced.

Principle 1: Truth. What is true and ethical for you and your organization. We focus on issues like: “What is the existing story now,?” “Do we need to change?” and “What is a more true and sustainable story?” We reflect on which values exist and which need further development toward achieving a successful future strategy and how the meaning of each affects them all.   

Principle 2: Make room.  Learn the benefit of understanding and respecting the stories already there by developing an awareness of how these stories can give the new story value and strategic energy 

Between the modules you will be provided with material to work on at home to further develop your understanding of the principles.

Module 2

Principle 3: Plot.  Focus is on how to create a new story or plot that breaks with the old one and can help the people involved prioritize and maintain motivation. It is not aimed at developing just another traditional corporate narrative, but a story that provides room for the smaller stories of the people around you and those with whom you work. You learn how to use storyboards in working with your own life or the life of a new strategy.                 

Principle 4: Time and space. The module focuses on the importance of awareness of time and space. What is the optimal timing for your unique story to be put into action, and what is the right place? These are both critical components for the effective use of the 7 principle True Storytelling® methodology. 

Module 3

Principle 5: Helping it along. We can create a perfect new story or strategy for our life or the organization’s future, but the reality of life includes obstacles. It can be challenging to change our own habits, or the people involved may have a different approach. Principle 5 – “Helping it along” is about how to overcome resistance by re-storying and the importance of being open to experiment.                           

Principle 6 – Staging. In the module, focus will be on how to you can help your story by staging it correctly. Staging is how you appear in the room, stage meetings, workshops, and how the room is strategically set up to provide the most benefit to your future story. 

Module 4

Principle 7: Reflection. The final principle is Reflection. In this critical Module; focus is on how the simultaneous implementation of the 7 principles are continually fine tuned through the development of your case or future project and continue after you have achieved a successful change management process. Putting True Storytelling® methodology into action in your private and professional life requires both continuous reflection and adjustment, dynamically looping back through the principles of your case or project. Reflecting also focuses on how to implement values, identifying the moral compass for your own life, which can help you navigate conduct and decision making in times of high complexity.

Staging the course

True Storytelling Institute® has conducted programs in many different venues – as a hike in nature, a virtual hybrid, and in-person as a more traditional format. Creativity and inspiration combined with a new skills and renewed motivation and energy are the goals, focusing on what is essential for you and your team, organization, and community.

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Price and registration

The course is online

Registration and Program Questions


Both hybrid virtual and in person classes for individuals are scheduled with cohorts forming now. 

Customized programs are available by advance scheduling with True Storytelling®.

Inquire on pricing subject to availability and group size. 

4 days or 6 online course plus  videos.

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Certified Trainers

Karin Strzeletz Ivertsen

With academic experience from top business schools (including CBS in Copenhagen and McGill in Montreal) AND my industrial working experience (including telecommunication & healthcare) I am able to put my theoretical and empirical knowledge into use in various social contexts. As a lecturer in organization and innovation studies I am dedicated to creating an experiential and natural learning atmosphere. One of the places you find me teaching is at the Kaospilots in Bern.

Barbara Sullivan

Barbara Sullivan is Treasurer and Founding Senior Partner Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Group, LLC. Her clients are in the private and public sectors and include small and large employers. Her diverse experience is called upon to design strategy and implement programs in areas of supplier development, organizational planning; employee relations initiates; performance management systems; and staff development. She has designed and delivered staff development programs for C suite leadership and line staff. Ms. Sullivan has served as a Director on the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce Board , the Downtown Long Beach Associates Board; the Long Beach Transit System Board, where she served as Chairman. She is former Vice Chairperson of the Black Business Association of Los Angeles’ Board; and served as a Commissioner on the Long Beach Economic Development Commission.

Anne-Marie Hall

Anne-Marie Hall is an expert within international marketing and branding in the Healthcare Industry (Medical Device, HealthTech and Consumer Healthcare). She works as a consultant and executive coach within storytelling, marketing and branding – guiding companies (ranging from start-ups to midsize and global companies) telling their story to targeted stakeholders. She has more than 25 years of experience from strategic marketing positions and has worked at Cook Medical, GSK and Novartis and founded in 2017 Amazing Hall Healthcare Accelerator. Anne-Marie is based in Copenhagen, Denmark but works internationally.

Ken Long

Dr Ken Long is a professor of strategy, logistics, leadership and change management for the US Army with over 40 years of service. His academic background includes degrees in Asian history, Systems Management and Organizational Development, with a specialty in action research and the applied professional case study method. He teaches strategy and research methods in graduate programs for St Mary’s University, and  Central Michigan University. He’s chaired over 150 Masters and 15 doctoral committees. He is a retired Army officer and combat veteran with the Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB). His business experience includes 30 years of experience as a bespoke market analyst and risk management strategist for institutional investors and traders. His focus on storytelling integrates the work of the True Storytelling Institute, the “StoryThinking” body of knowledge of Professor Angus Fletcher of Ohio State University, and a lifelong engagement with spiritual sense-making in the martial arts. (judo, ju-jitsu, wrestling, combatives). He is also certified in Systems Thinking by the Waters Center for Systems Thinking and in Whole Person Coaching (with an affiliation with the ICF). 

Oscar Edwards

Oscar Edwards is a founding member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Group, LLC. He serves as the President and managing member. He has proven executive experience
specializing in strategic planning, finance, succession/exit planing, organizational development and change management  in various industries. He has led major organizational change initiatives associated with media properties, infrastructure and energy-efficiency firms. He is a leader in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives that integrate and contribute significant intellectual capital to organizational performanceOscar Edwards is a Managing Member :

  • California Association of Nonprofits (CAN) • Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)
  • International Council of Small Business (ICSB) • Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  • United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE).
Ben Wesson

A professional and successful leader with a focus on delivering high quality person-centred services.

Extensive experience in complaints management, information and data protection legislation and delivering change programmes.

I am passionate about motivating others to succeed. I ensure that skills, support and enablers to be the best they can be.

Ernest Dillihay

Proven experience in theater operations, cultural facilities management, and administration, along with expertise in theatre, dance, music, festival, special events, and video production. He is an award-winning cable television and theater producer. As Performing Arts Director for the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Ernest created the first-ever citywide marketing and promotions program for the arts, The Arts Card, and presented national and international programs such as the California State, County, and City August Wilson Day Celebration, the 6th World’s Shakespeare Congress and the California Pavilion at Midem in the Festival de Palais in Cannes, France. His work with the Inner-City Cultural Center (the nation’s first multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-racial performing and visual arts institution), the California State Department of Corrections Arts-in-Corrections Program, the Department of Cultural Affairs in Los Angeles California, and the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, DC has informed his work in federal, state, county and municipal governments, as well as in the private sector.

Duncan Pelly

Utilizes perspectives from a humanities, social sciences, and management background to enhance interests in business management, operational strategy and entrepreneurship. Works hand-in-hand with practitioners to provide more holistic perspectives and is one of less than a dozen autoethnographers in the field of management worldwide, resulting in cutting-edge and boundary defining management strategies. Applies experience to bridge praxis and theory in business ethics, resulting in unrivaled pedagogical success. Incorporates lean six sigma expertise to develop corporate strategy, optimize operational efficiencies, and maximize corporate profit potential. Excellent communicator with exceptional leadership and diplomacy skills, and strong organizational and implementation skills. Multilingual with fluency in English, French, German, and Russian.

Rico L Smith Sr

Rico Smith Sr. is a retired Assistant City Manager and previous to that a Fire Chief with 37 yrs. of municipal government public service experience. Currently he is a founding member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Group, LLC. He serves as the Vice President and is a Member Senior Partner. He has proven local government experience, specializing in fire service public safety strategic emergency and non-emergency planning, change management, finance, succession/exit planning, organizational development, and the SWOT analysis process. He has led organizational change within the fire service and local municipal government. He is a leader in diversity, equity and inclusion that supports and compliments organizational growth and sustainability.