The most powerful tool on earth!
Great stories connect us to great endings!
At this stage, we have mastered some incredible skills. We are able to work effectively in groups. We can energize the institution where we work. We can connect with networks and build value between institutions and groups. All great stuff! There is just one more idea on our agenda.
This idea is the most powerful of all. To see how powerful, consider an example. Abraham Lincoln was perhaps the greatest president that the United States has had so far. Why? Most would say that this is because he saved the nation from breaking apart and this led to the end of slavery in the United States. These are great things, but I think that Lincoln did more. He did not just save the United States, he re-invented it. Before Lincoln, the United States was the result of the pragmatic compromise that bound the formal colonies together. Lincoln argued that the United States is a “nation dedicated to a proposition that all men are created equal”. Few commented on this idea of “being dedicated to a proposition”. But by re-framing the story, Lincoln created a new story that has energized the US in ways that could not have been imagined before. This is a dramatic example of the power of creating and telling a story.
So how do we do this?
The first step is to realize how often we actually do this already without noticing it. Our minds constantly generate stories for us and we constantly build on them as we live. yet we hardly notice. We think that story telling is what great writers and thinkers do. Wrong. Whether we realize it or not, our lives are compilations of the stories that we create – or do not create.
The second step is to deconstruct what goes into great stories and learn how to use these to match our experiences. I will not go into this here. But the most important thing to remember is that great stories have great endings. If you cannot imagine the ending, you cannot write the story.
The final step is to practice sharing our re-imagined stories. To build “threads” of stories as we go that allow people to more quickly identify who we are based on why we are engaged in what we do.
If we can do this well, we are ready to be world leading communicators and leaders. A worthy goal, I think.
Stuff to read
- Monkey (translated by Waley
We are thinking about the following types of storifying issues for now
- How will technology advances shape 21st century thinking?
- How will increased information flow affect the way people use and abuse power?
- Can people learn to become more successful in life on their own terms?
And here are a few links that might interest you
- The Emergence of digital media – where is it headed?
- The Next Wave in Health: Moderation Wins
- Great Stories are Engage emotions
- Is the Age of social networking ending?
- Thread on building narration
- Kurt Vonnegut’s chart – fortune and story line
- storifying as seeing opposition
- What does a strategic story look like?
- Shakespeare’s five phases and the singularity effect