influence through storytelling

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Post on 17-Aug-2014




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From a workshop I facilitated at Vizthink 2009 on why stories are more effective than fact based methods at communicating complex ideas and inspiring people to want to change.


  • Influence through storytelling Joyce Hostyn Senior Director, Experience Design Open Text
  • amount of evidence of sabotage or treason against Japanese-American citizens
  • The very fact that no sabotage has taken place is a disturbing and confirming indication that such action will be taken. General John DeWitt,WWII
  • problem with facts power of story using story to effect change
  • but before I start, I have a confession to make
  • Im not a natural born storyteller
  • cant draw
  • BUT
  • I believe powerfully
  • in the power of story
  • in visual thinking
  • I have never given a single presentation on why we need to do experience design
  • have never bothered cost justifying usability
  • nevertheless
  • Ive built successful experience design teams
  • and Im on a mission to effect change through storytelling & design
  • What Ive learned from my experience
  • You can use stories
  • and visual thinking
  • to influence people
  • and effect change
  • A health worker in Zambia, was struggling to find a solution for treating malaria. In this tiny and remote rural town, the health worker logged on to the Web site of the U.S.s Center for Disease Control and Prevention and got an answer. [The World Bank] doesnt have its know-how and expertise organized so that someone like the health worker in Zambia can have access to it. But just imagine if it did Stephen Denning
  • What Ill cover Three brain theory Some basics of storytelling The art of possibility
  • but first
  • Draw your life 2 wants (hopes for future) 4 you (reactions to idea of engaging people) current people 1 reality 3(important (parts that to your stand out) life)
  • three brain theory
  • we need to rethink a few assumptions
  • the assumptions being Our model of the world is reality We are aware of what we do We know why we do what we do We remember things as they really happened
  • in other words, our assumption that people are rational
  • recent brain research tells us unconscious mind controls up to 95% of behavior
  • We have three brains
  • unconscious mind controls 95% of behaviour
  • Lizard brain
  • fight flight freeze
  • cant distinguish imagined reality from actuality
  • Is it safe?
  • Mammal brain emotions memories habits
  • tacit or embodied (know-how)
  • confidence is built on the experience of success
  • When we leap to a decision or have a hunch, our unconscious is... sifting through the situation in front of us, throwing out all that is irrelevant while we zero in on what really matters. Malcom Gladwell, Blink
  • Human brain reasons rationalizes
  • became prized during age of enlightenment
  • explicit or theoretical (know-why) 10 steps for organizational change 4 components for a balanced scorecard
  • mammal brain makes decisions
  • human brain rationalizes them
  • we buy on emotion and justify with fact
  • They come to act like rewards, and salad of the rest of the perfectly brain adapts itself grilled to predict and woodsy- woodsy- acquire them Its flavored a proxy for the calamari reward to come. Read Montague Why Choose This Book?
  • logic emotions, memories, habits
  • We think our models of the world are reality
  • Meet Harry example from Roger Martin, The Opposable Mind
  • Bill
  • Sally
  • I really like Innovate Corporation. Its been an innovative leader for a long time. But Im coming under increasing pressure and have to make trade-offs.
  • Customers value leadership and innovation. Customers are feeling intense cost pressure.
  • Customers will stick with us if we continue to innovate and lead. Customers will migrate away from us due to cost concerns and our pricing.
  • Innovation and leadership are the most critical avenues to pursue. Weve got to get our costs down so we can be price competitive.
  • I really like Innovate Corporation. Its been an innovative leader for a long time. But Im coming under increasing pressure and have to make trade-offs.
  • quot;A way of seeing is also a way of not seeing.quot; Kenneth Burke
  • We often don't see whats before our eyes. We see our concept of what reality should be what we expect to see.
  • our reality illusion is in place
  • and our experiences will tend to reinforce our initial stance
  • as we weave those experiences into the story that already exists in our minds
  • Rarely pausing to consciously inspect the state & activity of our unconscious mind
  • we make sense of the world through stories
  • story is the emotional experience
  • the insight, the wisdom, the thing one has come to say