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The Noyce Foundation Leadership Institute

Case Studies

The Noyce Foundation Leadership Institute

Emily Paulos

Story in the context of leadership development has a long history, much of it focused on the skills and techniques of conceiving, writing, and performing stories as part of public speaking and presentation activities. Less emphasis has been put on how story can promote self-awareness and self assessment in organizational development and executive training. Learning how to access stories at a deeper level fosters authenticity in communication: you listen, you reflect, you consider, you communicate.

From 2011-2015, StoryCenter was invited by the Noyce Foundation to work with four cohorts of the Noyce Leadership Institute, and with alumni of prior cohorts. The fellows were part of a year long intensive training in personal and professional development, working with NLI staff, coaches, peers, and experts in promising practices in organizational and leadership development. StoryCenter's Joe Lambert led an annual workshop as part of the program's retreats, and we also developed a digital story process for alumni, coached individual and small groups in story, and created a series of documentary videos on audience engagement, for San Francisco's Exploratorium, Portland's Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Omaha Children's Museum, and the New York Hall of Science.

The stories and video documentaries are being used principally for internal discussions among the NLI alumni and participants. The stories were also shared with the larger science museum field, in presentations at the Association of Science and Technology Museums annual conferences in 2012, 2013, and 2014.