By The River - All things Stories



Authentic leadership/ Inclusion practices for organisations/ Inclusive leadership/ Narrative leadership/ Story culture


We all enjoy a good story – after all evolution has wired our brains for storytelling.  In the last two decades, we have seen a lot of emphasis on storytelling as a technique for impactful leadership and building empathetic communities.  By the River, is a storytelling initiative, started in 2014, that takes the joy of listening to stories to adults. It has that vision of simple yet powerful storytelling, to engage adults with stories and create spaces for reflection and sharing.

Under this initiative there are four offerings

1. Stories as metaphors- Suitable for intact groups in organisations and communities, this is a ninety minutes session of listening to a bouquet of stories. The stories are strung together to explore a theme relevant for the group of audience. The aesthetic telling of the stories, intend to create an atmosphere for individuals to delve within themselves and in making their individual connections with the story, connect with each other. Some of the current themes are

  •  Connecting with oneself
  • Connecting with one’s purpose
  •   Hope Abound
  •  Celebrating Transitions
  • Celebrating the Feminine
  • Recognising Abundance

2. Story Mandalas - are personal story sharing circles for leadership teams and intact teams. In this three hour session, participants are invited to share their personal experiences and memories. Story mandalas serve as empathy circles and enable participants to appreciate diversity, experience authentic presence and practice inclusion behaviours.

3. Story Labs- This program keeps one traditional story in focus and through its narration invites participants to reflect and make connections from the story into their own personal areas of focus. The narration is strategically segmented and spread over the course of the workshop.  Interspersed with reflective art based exercises, visualisations, role plays, personal story sharing and other relevant creative processes, the participants are invited to engage with the deeper meaning of the story as an individual and as a team.The program facilitates authentic conversations amongst participants, while reflecting creatively on leadership ideas and values. 

4. Leader as Storyteller- is a program that enables senior leaders to craft and tell stories in the organisational context with the aim to engage and inspire the audience. By drawing on one’s leadership experiences, and practising core skills using theatre based exercises, participants will uncover how to bring authentic presence and clear messages in the stories they tell at workplace.


“To be able to enter a story completely on our terms
See ourselves in the hero, the journey, the quest and the friend,
To see the greys of realities in vibrant words
Is the kind of invitation we wish to extend.
That’s why we tell stories!”
— By the River