Blog

  • How IKEA’s core values are connected with its creator’s origins

    Last time, I wrote that one of the best examples I have ever found of using personal narrative to influence one’s world was that of IKEA and its creator, Ingvar Kamprad. In fact, IKEA’s corporate culture is so tightly intertwined with the origins of its iconic founder that it is sometimes difficult to separate the two. On a surface level,

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • The compelling story of IKEA: what’s in a name?

    News that that IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad had passed away—on January 27 at the age of 91—left me a bit reflective. Though I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr Kamprad, his life narrative and the story of IKEA have been a part of me for the past twenty years. The company he started has provided some of the most frequently

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • Politics and narrative: why people need a human story

    My recent forays into political commentary have elicited a number of reactions from people who have been following my work and writing for years. Former students, in particular, are somewhat puzzled by my sudden interest in the speeches of candidates and public officials, as this is an arena I have mostly avoided in the past. In fact, I continue to

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • How Oprah’s story connects with us on a basic human level

    Last time, I referenced some of the reactions in the worldwide press to Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech at the recent Golden Globe Awards ceremony. At the time of my writing—in my transatlantic airplane seat—I had not heard the speech, nor was I completely sure exactly what these awards represent. This week, I had the opportunity to educate myself a bit

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • Oprah for president?

    Today, I write once again while sitting on an airplane, this time heading for a few days of work in the US. One of the things I enjoy doing in international airports is picking up newspapers from a variety of places and cultures. It is a ritual that gives me a feeling of nostalgia, a reminder of what I used

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling
  • Using storytelling to understand probability

    Last week, my brief remarks for year end alluded to my coming across a number of articles that address some aspect of storytelling or personal narrative. Once such article was an opinion piece by New York Times columnist David Leonhardt, entitled “What I Was Wrong About This Year”. The author begins his mea culpa with the notion that even the

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    John Sadowsky Leadership & Storytelling