“Stories are how we think. They are how we make meaning of life. Call them schemas, scripts, cognitive maps, mental models, metaphors, or narratives. Stories are how we explain how things work, how we make decisions, how we justify our decisions, how we persuade others, how we understand our place in the world, create our identities, and define and teach social values.”
-Pamela Rutledge, Director, Media Psychology Research Center

Think of something you already know how to do; something useful to you or someone else that you probably take for granted or at least you don’t ever give it much thought. You just do it, because you can.

What if you could take that thing that you do, add a little focus or perhaps, re-focus, and turn it into something more valuable, more useful, more profitable? You’re already doing it. Could you do it to provide/receive more benefit ?

I believe so.

Stories. You already use them. You tell others of your vacation trip, your near miss in the big wreck on the expressway this morning, the client who discovered a new use for your product, or your friend who had the bad experience that turned out to be a great blessing. You’ve been using them all your life, except maybe in business.

Stories can change things. They can because they communicate on a different channel. They’re more pull than push. We’re pulled in to the story. The story can become my story or our story.

Ken Burns is a master storyteller. We know him as an American director and producer of documentary film. He may be best known for his style of using archival footage and photographs. Among his productions are The Civil War (1990), Baseball (1994), Jazz (2001), The War (2007), and Prohibition (2011). I hope Ken Burns will inspire you to think deeper about how you use storytelling in this short film.

We can use stories to make a difference.

In Other Words…

“Over the years I have become convinced that we learn best – and change – from hearing stories that strike a chord within us… Those in leadership positions who fail to grasp or use the power of stories risk failure for their companies and for themselves.” – John Kotter, Harvard Business School professor

“Man is eminently a storyteller. His search for a purpose, a cause, an ideal, a mission and the like is largely a search for a plot and a pattern in the development of his life story — a story that is basically without meaning or pattern.” – Eric Hoffer

“We are lonesome animals. We spend all our life trying to be less lonesome. One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say — and to feel — Yes, that’s the way it is, or at least that’s the way I feel it. You’re not as alone as you thought.” – John Steinbeck

“I realized the importance of having a story today is what separates companies. People don’t just wear our shoes, they tell our story.” – Blake Mycoskie, CEO, Tom’s Shoes

“I wrote the story myself. It’s about the girl who lost her reputation and never missed it.” – Mae West, actress

In Linked Words…


In The Word…

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7