How do innovation, communication, and technology work together?
I'll give you a clue - they make scalable impact possible.
In the early days of my career, I was good at tech and innovation, but not so good with communication. That's kind of a bane for engineers. So the impact I had was limited to a large extent.
But communication does not necessarily mean storytelling. Storytelling is part of it. The annoying part to me is that almost every third person I meet says they like telling stories.
So here is an important question - What is a story? Please don't say it has a beginning, middle, and end. A software code also has a beginning, middle and end - and it is not a story.
So think again - what is a story?
In my experience, stories are different things to different people. And more importantly almost impossible to define. It's hard to put into words what they are. But we can talk about the impact they have. We can talk about some principles behind them, but no definitions. Therefore, instead of trying to define a story, think about the principles that make them work. Then apply them.
Instead of trying to define a story, think about the principles that make them work. Then apply them.
Many of the bosses I've seen in my career wanted decisions first, a summary second, and details later (if they could spare more time). While some others wanted a summary first, details later, and decisions afterwards, which mostly they had made already.
In no situations, they were interested in someone telling them a (customer) story or anything similar.
And this is where the advice on storytelling starts to fail in real life. Because we miss a key and almost a hidden (in plain sight) issue in storytelling.
One thing I have seen as a common pattern amongst many story evangelists is that almost all of them teach and advise you on how to tell a story. Its mechanics, nuances, techniques, tactics, structures, methods, yada...yada.
But the thing is, if we can't define what is a story, how can we even teach it?
Have you ever had an experience when a kid shows you an odd-looking cloud in the sky, and tells you that it looks like a rabbit?
I seem to have discovered a principle here, and it is this: While all stories can be told from a storyteller's perspective, they can only be truly impactful when told from a story listener's perspective.
Once you make this mind shift, you will find there are many ways to do it better.
Have you ever had an experience when a kid shows you an odd-looking cloud in the sky, and tells you that it looks like a rabbit? And you can't see any rabbit whatsoever? That's what I mean when I talk about the story from the listener's perspective.
A perspective is seeing things from where you're not.
Anyway, I will certainly explore more about this topic in the next few editions. I'd like to peel the onion so to speak.
But for now, have a look at a few things I have done or will be doing with stories. Check them out and am sure you'll want to be involved in all of them.