In our continuing look at the six senses of the Concept Age, it’s story time!
Dan Pink references Mark Turner, cognitive scientist and author of The
Literary Mind, who says “Most of our experience, our knowledge and our thinking
is organized as stories”. Stories are
fundamental to human learning and recall.
In a world where facts are abundant and easily accessible, meaning is becoming more valuable. Stories connect with us emotionally and provide us with context. They provide meaning - the hooks on which we hang our facts.
Creating stories can:
- Help your customers understand why your products and services are unique and valuable,
- Help your team understand your corporate strategy and objectives,
- Help your customer service representatives deliver remarkable service,
- Help you orient new employees and partners,
- Help you train your team. (Dan talks about how Xerox used stories, rather than manuals, to train their repair personnel. They gathered these “stories into a database called Eureka that Fortune estimates is worth $100M to the company".)
Anyone can assemble a list of facts or comparisons. Not everyone can create a story that imbues those facts with significance that resonates with an audience – at least not without practice.
Dan offers some great ideas to help us practice. Most of them involve reading, writing, or
listening to stories. I just signed up
for One Story (www.one-story.com). Every three weeks they will send me one
story. I’m also planning to go to a
storytelling festival. Dan offers a list
in the book. But, depending on where you
live, you might be able to find one closer to you by looking online. Another great idea he has is to interview
someone on tape. Ask them questions
about their life and learn about their story.
I’d recommend looking at Seth Godin’s post “Ode: How To Tell a Great Story”. It’s a phenomenal description of how to create an effective marketing story.
If you’re still not convinced that a remarkable story is a business
imperative, visit today’s post on CopyBlogger, “Discover
Your Hidden Remarkable Benefit”, it illustrates just how valuable finding your
story can be to growing a business.
Come back and tell me what you think!