Long before the first formal business was established, before the first deal, the six most powerful words in any language were Let me tell you a story. And, if there is ever a time when the last deal is done and the last business closes its doors, those six words will still be the most compelling anyone can utter.

Businesses tell stories all the time. In fact, we've invented a whole vocabulary just to deal with the kinds of stories we tell. The stories of business are all but endless, but the process of business storytelling is anything but organized or consistent. Let's take a look at the kinds of stories businesses—including your business—tell every day.

There's branding (the stories of our products and services), marketing (the ...

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