Karen Dietz, PhD., owner of Polaris Associates Consulting, Inc. works with leaders and executive teams who want to find and tell their compelling stories, enroll people in their vision, and move them to action. Her background in the diverse fields of folklore, creativity, strategy, organizational development, high performance teams, and interpersonal communication have allowed her to develop targeted approaches to executive storytelling, organizational narratives, and personality types. As a coach, facilitator and storyteller, her clients have included Walt Disney Imagineering, Chase Manhattan Bank, City of Santa Monica, and Avery Dennison.
Dietz draws on her experience in top-flight organizations to provide practical experience, guidance, and tools that can be put to work immediately.
It started when I was studying for my PhD in Folklore, and I fell in love with the stories people told in my research. But it was still all very academic until I met Ron Evans, a Chippewa-Cree from Canada who held and told the sacred stories of his tribe. Ron was my first teacher in oral storytelling and the lessons I learned I still teach others today. In addition, over the decades I've been trained by some of the best performance storytellers in the nation.
I eventually left academics and started my own training business (now there are a few hair-raising stories!). From that successful venture, I moved into business consulting, still working with stories even though I couldn't call it that at the time.
Finally a sea change occurred in 2000 and my skills as a folklorist and expert in organizational stories became desirable and sought after. I could finally come out of the closet and have ever since been working directly with leaders and organizations. I turn them into compelling storytellers to gain influence, build relationships, and enroll others in their vision.
In the early years, I repeatedly saw how if a leader could tell a compelling story about what change needed to happen, and why, the chance of the initiative succeeding was great. If they could NOT tell a compelling story about it, I could guarantee the initiative would fail. Why waste all that money doing a year's worth of research, recommendations, plans and action steps when it could all go so easily down the drain in just a
My goals for leaders are to increase their effectiveness, be compelling, capture the hearts and minds of people, and save money.
My goals for organizations is to crystallize their identity through compelling stories, be more effective in both internal and external communication, produce bottom-line measurable results, and increase their profits.
I look forward to serving you.
Karen received her doctorate in Folklore from the University of Pennsylvania and is the former Executive Director of the National Storytelling Network. She is a member of the National Communication Association, Organizational Development Network, the National Storytelling Network, an on-line organizational narrative community of practice Worldwide Story Work, the past president and former program chair of the Storytelling In Organizations Special Interest Group.
- Fortified corporate culture
- Re-energized staff
- Meaningful and actionable visions/missions
- Focused strategy
- High performance teams
- Enhanced bottom line
She is also an expert in the world's most popular Jungian based personality type assessment pioneered by Isabel Briggs Myers, having authored interpretive reports that are sold globally. She and her husband were the first company to create two software programs that generate interpretive reports quickly and easily for personality type practitioners, consultants, and therapists.
- Forward and Chapter 6, “Who Said Money Is Everything? Story Is The New Currency InFinancial Management” in Wake Me Up When The Data Is Over; How Organizations Use Stories To Drive Results, edited by Lori Silverman. New York: Jossey-Bass, 2006. Pgs. 78-92
- Boundless Diversity; An Introduction To The Golden Personality Type Profiler, with John P. Golden, Ed.D. Dallas, TX: Harcourt Assessment Inc., 2004
- “Free Agent Ecosystem ™; Cultivating a Sustainable Commercial Ecosystem Among Professional Services Free Agents,” with Joseph B. Sterling, Rita L. Sterling, and Sharon Lieder. San Diego, CA: Free Agent Ecosystem, 2002.
- Organizational Personality Type reports for Jung's Personality Types and the Personality Profiler Assessment. San Diego, CA: Polaris Associates, Inc. 1993, 1998, 2001.
- The Power of Values; A Guide For Business, with Katie L. Anderson. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1996.
- Everyday Heroes; Living Live by Your Values, with Katie L. Anderson. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1996.
- "The Power of Storytelling At Work," by Evelyn Clark, Readers Digest Asia, Sept. 2007, Pgs. 51-55
- “Strategic Storytelling” by Lori Silverman, ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT, November 2004.
- Chapter 6, “Transmitting Your Values: Using Narrative To Build Your Brand” in The Leader’s Guide To Storytelling; Mastering The Art And Discipline Of The Business Narrative, by Stephen Denning, 2005. Pgs. 121-148.
- Chapter 15, “There Are Five Sides To Every Story: Which Are You Missing” in Wake Me Up When The Data Is Over; How Organizations Use Stories To Drive Results, edited by Lori Silverman, 2006. Pgs. 214-230.