Oh look it’s yet another middle aged, white, cis-male, self styled thought-leaderpreneur about to save the world. Brilliant!
Just for the record, that’s not how I identify (although that is my own scarf) and also I didn’t say save the world, I said change it. But yes, I take your point.
I’ve got to do something though. I mean not actually go out to any war zones, or chain myself to anything, or put myself in anything even slightly resembling actual danger, but rather by using what I’ve got, what I’m good at, hopefully to much greater effect.
I’m talking about Story. There’s a surprise. That’s my magic power, the secret spell to overcome the evil dragon at the end of the tale. And right now, there’s some serious dragons out there that need overcoming before we reach the end!
Change your mind.
Specifically I want to talk about what stories are and what they can do. Because good stories change minds, I mean literally change your brain chemistry and make you think differently (See Neuroscientist Paul J. Zak’s article in the Harvard business review). And it just so happens I’ve spent the last 20 years, in a professional capacity and all my life in a human capacity (as have we all), mastering the art of story making.
Yes story making, that’s distinct from storytelling. I don’t think of myself as a storyteller per se, in my work with brands, businesses and individuals as a strategic story consultant I give you your own unique magic tools needed to be the storyteller and master your own, particular dragon.
And if even a sniff of the word storytelling makes your eyes roll, I’m sorry about that, it is a buzzword that shows no sign of fading away. That’s because it’s so fundamental to everything we do, not as leaders, or marketers, or communicators but as humans. Story making is a craft, it involves architecture and design and engineering and mechanics which, with the Pure Story System Sets, I’ve crystalised into a set of powerful processes that can create a clear, refined, activated story, a Pure Story, if you will. That can be sent out into the world and make a difference. And that’s what we’re talking about today – How we can go beyond the ‘business for good’ application of these methods, as important as that is, and take it to a new level of reach and impact.
Story for Good
So while I’ve deliberately never worked for anyone actively evil and pretty much everyone who has come through my door and sat in the Story Room has had some social or environmental angle to their business (how could you start a business in the 2020s and not?), I also haven’t explicitly put all my efforts into ‘doing good’ either (We will define exactly what is meant by doing good shortly). So now I’m coming out with that in mind. Less as a thought leader, more a thought activist – an active, vigorous advocate for the cause; Story for Good!
So how do we do it? – Like I said, I’m not here to tell you. My intention is not to present myself as the definitive expert, strutting around with that TED Talk swagger, that knowing twinkle in my self satisfied eyes, but rather to further crystalise the existing Pure Story thoughts and methodologies into an active tool set usable by anyone, while also forcing myself to push my knowledge further and maybe, just maybe change some minds on the way.
I’d love this to be a dialogue because more minds can change more minds and defeat more dragons, plus I love story (and pink scarves) and love talking about it in all its forms so please reach out if you want to discuss anything raised here.
Otherwise, let’s get to it.