Influence Through Storytelling

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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.

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Influence Through Storytelling

  1. Influence through storytelling Joyce Hostyn Senior Director, Experience Design Open Text
  2. amount of evidence of sabotage or treason against Japanese-American citizens
  3. 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
  4. problem with facts power of story using story to effect change
  5. but before I start, I have a confession to make
  6. I’m not a natural born storyteller
  7. can’t draw
  8. BUT
  9. I believe powerfully
  10. in the power of story
  11. in visual thinking
  12. I have never given a single presentation on “why we need to do experience design”
  13. have never bothered cost justifying usability
  14. nevertheless
  15. I’ve built successful experience design teams
  16. and I’m on a mission to effect change through storytelling & design
  17. What I’ve learned from my experience
  18. You can use stories
  19. and visual thinking
  20. to influence people
  21. and effect change
  22. 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] doesn’t 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
  23. What I’ll cover Three brain theory Some basics of storytelling The art of possibility
  24. but first
  25. 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)
  26. three brain theory
  27. we need to rethink a few assumptions
  28. 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
  29. in other words, our assumption that people are rational
  30. recent brain research tells us unconscious mind controls up to 95% of behavior
  31. We have three brains
  32. unconscious mind controls 95% of behaviour
  33. Lizard brain
  34. fight flight freeze
  35. can’t distinguish imagined reality from actuality
  36. Is it safe?
  37. Mammal brain emotions memories habits
  38. tacit or embodied (know-how)
  39. confidence is built on the experience of success
  40. 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
  41. Human brain reasons rationalizes
  42. became prized during age of enlightenment
  43. explicit or theoretical (know-why) 10 steps for organizational change 4 components for a balanced scorecard
  44. mammal brain makes decisions
  45. human brain rationalizes them
  46. we buy on emotion and justify with fact
  47. 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… It’s flavored a proxy for the calamari reward to come. Read Montague Why Choose This Book?
  48. logic emotions, memories, habits
  49. We think our models of the world are reality
  50. Meet Harry example from Roger Martin, The Opposable Mind
  51. Bill
  52. Sally
  53. I really like Innovate Corporation. It’s been an innovative leader for a long time. But I’m coming under increasing pressure and have to make trade-offs.
  54. Customers value leadership and innovation. Customers are feeling intense cost pressure.
  55. 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.
  56. Innovation and leadership are the most critical avenues to pursue. We’ve got to get our costs down so we can be price competitive.
  57. I really like Innovate Corporation. It’s been an innovative leader for a long time. But I’m coming under increasing pressure and have to make trade-offs.
  58. quot;A way of seeing is also a way of not seeing.quot; Kenneth Burke
  59. We often don't see what’s before our eyes. We see our concept of what reality should be… …what we expect to see.
  60. our reality illusion is in place
  61. and our experiences will tend to reinforce our initial stance
  62. as we weave those experiences into the story that already exists in our minds
  63. Rarely pausing to consciously inspect the state & activity of our unconscious mind
  64. we make sense of the world through stories
  65. story is the emotional experience
  66. the insight, the wisdom, the thing one has come to say
  67. Just the facts, mam
  68. Too often communicating like this • 981 people died in alcohol-related crashes in 2000 • Out of 420 pedestrian fatalities, 38 per cent of those tested for alcohol had been drinking, and most of these had BACs over 0.08. • Almost nine out of every 10 people killed in alcohol- related collisions (87.4 per cent) were in or on the drinking driver's vehicle (i.e. drivers/operators or passengers). • Almost nine out of every 10 drivers killed in alcohol- related collisions (87.5 per cent) were male. • Over half (56 per cent) of the drivers killed in single- vehicle crashes tested positive for alcohol, compared to only 20 per cent of those killed in multiple-vehicle crashes.
  69. Expecting listeners to accept the facts Everyone knows the You pulled those media exaggerates numbers out of thin air That’s actually not a lot
  70. Instead of telling stories http://www.texasdwi.org/jacqui.html
  71. Facts are meaningless without a contextual story
  72. War is evil. It’s always evil. It represents a massive human failure and never truly resolves anything.
  73. Evil exists in the world. If left unchecked, it can spread like a deadly disease.
  74. . AP AP
  75. We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally twisting proved wrong, impudently the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield. George Orwell
  76. Facts are, quot;like fish in the Ocean,quot; that we may only happen to catch a few, only an indication of what is below the surface. E. H. Carr What is History?
  77. Fact is not dialog
  78. Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving there's no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof. John Kenneth Galbraith
  79. using facts kicks in the confirmation bias
  80. People don't need new facts. They need a new story. Annette Simmons The Story Factor
  81. three aspects of story Listening Thinking Telling
  82. Listening for stories
  83. WHO is your who?
  84. Conversations at the water cooler
  85. use the 5 whys to get to the real story
  86. Collect and capture stories
  87. Using emotional words frustrated elated angry exhausted awed timid disappointed stressed excited joyous confident nervous kindness honored depressed fearful shocked friendship hopeful relaxed proud despondent happy courageous accepted disgusted embarrassed amused surprise worried unhappy jealous close pity remorse sad appreciated distant respect
  88. Practice empathy, seek to understand first, and assume the best motives in others
  89. Who needs to change? Map their current ecosystem Wants Motivators Influencers Environment/context Tell a story of why they don’t want to change from their perspective
  90. learn to see the stories around you
  91. Thinking with stories
  92. http://www.reason.com/images/07cf533ddb1d06350cf1ddb5942ef5ad.jpg
  93. use stories to think
  94. Telling stories
  95. Draw a timeline of Key dates • Incidents • Experiences that shaped you • Trials and turning points that tested you • Stories of childhood, family, school, loves • Development of political views •
  96. OMG new mom, new city, no job China nephew not a boss from acquired trip 1962 arrives nurse hell (again) Joan farm garden bound new boss passed over Sasha not a key Disney new prof from (again) school patrol arrives employee pitch boss hell
  97. six story types Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins, Annette Simmons
  98. People prefer not to trust you
  99. ambitious, greedy, inexperienced, dumb
  100. who I am break through the worst case stories they tell themselves about you with a story that builds faith in you
  101. Mine your timeline for stories HavenTree OMG pregnant, new city, no job nephew not a boss from acquired again 1962 arrives nurse hell Joan farm garden bound boss laid passed over Sasha Disney prof from not a key China off school patrol arrives pitch hell employee trip
  102. why I am here exposes what’s in it for you or people tend to make up ‘rat’ reasons
  103. teaching combine what with how less about what you want than how you want it done “What would <insert person here> do?”
  104. vision what’s in it for them so they can imagine the payoff in the future
  105. values in action about doing the right thing values create culture and culture creates values
  106. I know what you’re thinking we don’t come into a room with open minds, we already have a narrative in our head: “this is bullshit” brings an issue into the open and reframes it “I felt exactly the way you feel now”
  107. good stories create an experience in images that evokes an emotional response
  108. Carter's confidence, energy and intensely emotional delivery make her talks themselves a force of nature Guy Kawasaki on passion Majora Carter’s TED talk
  109. To provide food for her family, Sufiya worked all day in her muddy yard making bamboo stools.Yet somehow her hard work was unable to life her family out of Why? poverty. curiosity Muhammad Yunus pioneer of the microcredit movement
  110. authenticity
  111. hope
  112. emotional connection
  113. visual
  114. stories let gut feeling talk to gut feeling
  115. if what we see is a representation of reality
  116. stories are one of the most effective ways in which we communicate our view of reality to others
  117. transporting people to different points of view reframing what facts mean to them
  118. tell stories to connect
  119. People don't believe what you tell them They rarely believe what you show them They often believe what their friends tell them They always believe what they tell themselves What leaders do: they give people stories they can tell themselves Stories about the future and about change Seth Godin,Tribes
  120. we are all storytellers
  121. Who needs to change? Create a story that speaks to the person you want to change
  122. battle between two wolves
  123. the one you feed
  124. which one are you feeding?
  125. what stories are you telling to yourself, about yourself?
  126. Be careful how you interpret the world; it is like that. Erich Heller, British philosopher
  127. What’s the biggest thing stopping you from effecting change?
  128. NOT other people
  129. A hint
  130. judgment fear of
  131. failure fear of
  132. status preoccupation with
  133. uncertainty fear of
  134. unpredictability aversion to
  135. choosing fear of
  136. All of us construct narratives about ourselves – where we’ve come from, where we’re going. The kinds of stories we tell make an enormous difference in how well we cope with change. Hermina Ibarra and Kent Lineback,What’s Your Story?
  137. To effect change
  138. you need to take charge of your story
  139. because it’s the only story you truly have control over
  140. the art of possibility The most important story you will ever tell author your own about yourself is the story you tell to yourself. hero’s journey
  141. your To be authentic is literally to be own author... to discover your native energies and desires, and then find your way of acting on them. Warren Bennis, An Invented Life
  142. http://webzoom.freewebs.com/padmeleiajaina/Wallpapers/Luke%20Wallpaper2%20copy.jpg
  143. Kathy Sierra http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2005/02/the_users_journ.html
  144. emotion & imagination can rewire our brains
  145. from victim (acted on)
  146. they would never let us
  147. nobody around here could ever do that
  148. there’s no point in even trying
  149. that’s not possible
  150. to hero (actor)
  151. I will
  152. I can’t
  153. I believe
  154. I choose
  155. I choose not
  156. I have a dream Martin Luther King Jr.
  157. Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. Leo Tolstoy
  158. If you keep doing what you’ve always done… The most important story you will ever tell about yourself is the story you tell to yourself.
  159. based on assumptions
  160. the bedrock of your worldview
  161. that you’re not aware you’re making
  162. you have no control over your story
  163. Are your beliefs and values helping take your story where you Beliefs and values are not inherited or coded in the genes. They are assumptions about life. want to go?
  164. As long as you’re making assumptions…
  165. why not make assumptions that make you more powerful and effective
  166. knowing
  167. who you are
  168. what you want to do
  169. what you believe in
  170. what you aspire to
  171. Invent your future reality
  172. Expand your WANTS into a vision of your future reality • Keywords of desired future or change you want to implement • Elements • Language • Results • Influencers
  173. Paint a vivid picture of your future story
  174. rich with emotion & visuals
  175. tell your future story to others
  176. create a new language
  177. vision gap reality
  178. you to do things, you're got to To get create a purpose and a story so compelling that you are moved to make those corrections in your life, and make them for good. Geoffrey M. Bellman Getting Things Done When You Are Not in Charge
  179. gives you
  180. courage
  181. focus
  182. energy
  183. and you WILL effect change if you
  184. believe it
  185. are authentic
  186. persistent
  187. and live it
  188. learn to see
  189. The real voyage of discovery consists not in making new landscapes but in having new eyes. Marcel Proust
  190. yourself
  191. others
  192. the whole system
  193. seek to understand
  194. the language that binds you
  195. how the situation occurs to you & others
  196. stories you tell yourself
  197. stories you tell others
  198. stories you tell ABOUT others
  199. EMBRACE the dark side
  200. not being picked a captain of the school patrol
  201. boss from hell
  202. discovering I’m not a key employee
  203. start telling stories
  204. be yourself
  205. with passion
  206. using stories
  207. to effect change
  208. in yourself
  209. your organization
  210. your community
  211. the world
  212. because it’s all invented

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