“Story Design: The Creative Way to Innovate” now available for pre-order.

Description of my new book, “Story Design: The Creative Way to Innovate”.


Cut through all the hype about story, creativity, design and innovation, and you expose an urgent need — for an agile, accessible and affordable way to produce creative solutions to complex problems. Today’s leaders suddenly find themselves with a mandate for design and innovation — something that wasn’t part of their b.school curriculum or management training. Their options for meeting this demand are to outsource to consultants or head off to design school.

In Story Design: The Creative Way to Innovate, author Denise Withers offers an alternate solution. She teaches readers how to design for innovation by using expertise they already have: narrative intelligence.

At its core, a story simply describes the experience of a hero solving a problem. Recent neuroscience research suggests that we are hard-wired to communicate through story. Since everyone on the planet already knows how story works, why not use it as a shared problem-solving and design process?

In this practical playbook, Withers draws on her 35 years of experience as a documentary filmmaker, designer and academic to show readers how to go beyond story-telling and use their existing narrative intelligence to research, design, test and share solutions to (almost) any kind of problem. Working through real world examples, they learn the essentials of story and design, then access an original suite of story-based design tools, including the Story Canvas™. Developed as both a roadmap and dashboard for design projects, this versatile worksheet helps those new to the innovation game plan, track and engage others in their work.

Narrative intelligence isn’t new. Neither is design. But no one has ever put them together before to reveal their untapped potential. Withers’ deep expertise and no-nonsense style make this book an easy read for anyone who needs an innovative way to solve today’s complex problems. Whether you design services, strategies, experiences or anything else, Story Design can help you develop the creative capacity you need to lead through chaos and meet your innovation mandate.

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