Every successful business owner knows that trust is the foundation of an effective team. When staffs are anxious, stressed, and working through challenging times, trust can take a beating. Stronger professional relationships can vastly improve how teammates work together—they care more about approval, ask for help more quickly, hold one other accountable—and get better results. Studies of companies from Google to Zappos have demonstrated conclusively that company culture affects performance: Teams that know and trust one another work together more effectively.
"Working with Larry in a corporate setting is a great way to reacquaint ourselves with the value of simple stories for better connections with people. It is also a unique way to get to know the individuals behind a team, strengthening those relationships with a view to doing more meaningful and connected business together—using the simple power of six words."
Richard Binhammer, Dell, Communications, Executive Programs, Outreach
"Larry's six-word challenge and his intriguing ideas about success in the digital world kicked off our Storytellers Conference with just the right spark of ingenuity. We kept our participants in the game by having them write their own, and I closed the conference with a six-word bio that summed our last and most contentious discussion. Brilliant on all levels."
Gary Hoenig, General Manager and Editorial Director, ESPN Publishing
Founded in 2006, SMITH Magazine’s mission is to provide a platform for storytelling in its many forms, both traditional and new media.
SMITH is best known for its Six-Word Memoir project, a global phenomenon and a bestselling book series. Six-Word Memoirs have been featured in hundreds of media outlets from NPR to The New Yorker, and found on blogs, T-shirts, and, in January 2010, inside 3 million Honest Tea bottle caps.
Hundreds of thousands of people across the nation have written their own brief life stories at SMITH, as well as in classrooms, churches, at live Six-Word “slams,” and on blogs of every description. From church prayers to speed dating to parlor games, this simple, short form of storytelling has proved to be an effective catalyst for bringing people together.
Anticipating the microblogging explosion, SMITH originally launched Six-Word Memoirs in November 2006 in partnership with Twitter with a simple online challenge asking: “Can you tell your life story in six words?”
MagSMITH, LLC, SMITH’s consulting arm, works with companies of all kinds to improve their brands, build community, and face the challenges of an ever-changing media world. Recent clients include Newsweek, ESPN The Magazine, AARP Magazine, Turner Sports, Honest Tea, Spitfire Strategies, and Rick’s Picks Pickles.
Larry Smith is the founder and editor of SMITH Magazine, the online community obsessed with personal storytelling. At SMITH, Larry created the Six-Word Memoir project, which led to two bestselling books and has become an international six-word phenomenon. Larry leads storytelling workshops at places as varied as ESPN, the Hewlett Foundation, tech companies, as well as classrooms from second grade to grad school.
Larry believes in experimenting with forms of storytelling, from putting the experiences of pregnant women on pickle jars to making nonfiction webcomics about Hurricane Katrina. Most notably the Six-Word Memoir project has led to two bestselling books, Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure, Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak, and the latest, I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets: Six-Word Memoirs by Teens.
Larry has been a writer and editor at Men’s Journal, ESPN Magazine, Yahoo Internet Life, and Might magazines. He has also written for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Salon, Slate, Popular Science, Wired, SPIN, and elsewhere. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Larry is currently a board member of the nonprofit news outlet, AlterNet, as well as the youth media literacy organization, The Lamp.