Who knows what this is? This is a detail of the stunning cave paintings at Lascaux, in SW France. They’re 18,000 years old...and they represent the oldest European storytelling experience known. They’re important to me because I’m a storyteller who also builds software: they’re the first interactive storytelling software!
Think about it: we build trust by sharing and comparing story. Every significant relationship in our lives is predicated on story—how I met my wife, how I met those of you here in this room, the people I’ve met and filmed in Bosnia and Cuba and Eastern Europe and Russia: despite shyness and different backgrounds, language barriers, despite cultural differences—we shared story and we built relationships
This is dead important. There are thousands of self-help books out there on how to create brand media and how to market your company and yourself. And almost all of them miss a massively important piece: it’s the relationship, stupid. Story means nothing without an emotional connection. So: which kind of story do you want to tell? The kind that builds relationships—the emotional kind.
There are stories everywhere. If you stop and smell the roses, you’ll find amazing, undiscovered stories, literally at your feet. But how do you make the most of this abundance?
...make that thought the cornerstone in assembling the stories you choose to share about your work. I guarantee you: if you tell stories that make clear your values—you’ll have an audience that cares about you and your work. But there’s an even deeper piece: why sharing unstintingly wins for everybody...
**And it’ll keep you honest too: plus you’ll find you have better manners and keep more of your promises. I promise :)
Bothand rotman oct2016_preso_deck.v2
the story of telling
narrative storytelling + library brand communication
monday 03 october 2016
outcomes | future-state
✤ hubs of participatory culture
✤ coordinating community media layer
✤ trusted repositories of community data
✤ engines for hyperlocal small business
three things librarians need to know
1/ why stories work (and what KPI*s really matter: what
shared values activate)
2/ why networks form (power of the weak, not strong:
where the value lies)
3/ why culture eats strategy for lunch (Peter Drucker and
ROI…and a story that shows how it all comes together:
how cultural values drive everything)
*key performance indicators
We meet one another and get to know
one another and trust one another by
Why care about story?
✤ Stories relax people and focus their attention (not a data
✤ Stories start conversations (engagement)
✤ Stories spark emotions and make people do amazing,
human things (catalyze action)
✤ Stories don’t sell. The best don’t tell either—they lead us
to something new (teachable moments > inspire
stories are data…with soul. (Brené
not a data dump
story | right into the noodle (thank you Jaac
a revolution beyond neuroscience
✤ because story is another kind of data and data’s
another kind of story
✤ …and where the two meet, value lives
guess which side of the brain story
Here’s one way to be heard: it’s all
But no one will
Why? It’s not about you. It’s about them.
Libraries aren’t in the book business: they’re in
the business of growing the culture around
…they’re in the Phoenix or LA or Vancouver or
you gotta feed ‘em what they eat.
✤ We live in a culture, a society that’s highly secular,
✤ In all the changes, all the stresses of everyday life,
there’s one sure universal left...
if you want to speak to your
community, do this
✤ we live in a culture, a society that’s highly secular,
✤ in all the changes, all the stresses of everyday life,
there’s one sure universal left...
✤ The art and discipline of great storytelling—from
investigative journalism to black comedy to
screenwriting to radio plays—hinges on meaning
✤ ...and meaning is the librarian’s stock-in-trade:
librarians give meaning away, every day, all the time
✤ so there’s no end of inspiration for you in telling your
story, your library’s story—abundance is happening
turning abundance into story
✤ To tell your story effectively, you need to know one
Simple. But not obvious.
(hint: alliance—the first step to networking)
✤ Values. People want to know what you stand for. And
why: that’s why you won their attention.
✤ Share. Teach. Demonstrate real value. Share again.
✤ Values build value: it’s all about trust (again).
✤ And librarians have sky-high ‘trustability’
Share the why of the how of what you do.
(once more, with feeling)
Share the why of the how of what you do.
why share your stories?
✤ four simple words: people will trust you
✤ share trust through shared story and something wonderful
✤ …the people you’ve shared your story with share your story
(that’s now their story: they’re telling it) with the people they
think the story will affect most
stories operate on two levels…so do
✤ stories document and share experiences
✤ sharing those experiences yields emotional
✤ networks grow and share experiences
✤ sharing those experiences yields opportunity to co-
value networks are the information
architectures of our tribes, our 'people'—
they describe the dynamics of how that
tribe interrelates...the cultural triggers
that give birth to the stories the tribe tells
✤ communities align into networks by
knowable rules and sustain in
✤ …there’s even a book on this
✤ A Pattern Language by Christopher
✤ must-read for anyone interested in
if we can understand the patterns in the
way communities share story…
…we have the means to build
communities around libraries which can
help advance everything libraries touch
libraries are ‘cultural
triggers’ that activate
how do human
why are networks critical to growing
library advocacy and community
because networks share the values
inherent in library advocacy/storytelling
so what's the key to
why we share stories
determines why a
sustains and influences
others to join
gentrification via the arts
(from grotty to great)
making a scene
the edgy neighbourhood becomes focus of
afterhours clubs or 'hidden gem'
restaurants started by rebellious chef or a
street market pops up—art galleries or tiny
jazz/comedy clubs and then the sure-fire
social barometer: the premium
if the cultural stars
…soon the young moms with strollers are
hanging out in the espresso/lunch spot—and
there’s a hyperlocal economy where there
was only a few rebels/visionaries/early
the context here isn't economic: it's cultural
libraries give context away—it's one
reason why libraries are the most trusted
libraries are in the context business—
especially the cultural context business,
not least because the future of libraries is
pegged to the cultural vibrancy of the
communities they serve
it’s story-in-context: influence
…which is why ‘influencers’ prime
networks with tips, reviews, insights and
intelligence you can’t get anywhere else
the story engine
✤ here's the thing…
✤ the best stories—
✤ they're organic,
complex narratives mimic life
✤ these stories grow and interweave with themselves
over time (think: Downton Abbey, The Wire, Breaking
Bad, Game of Thrones)
✤ this is why storytelling is so powerful, so entrancing
✤ taken at its highest, great storytelling sustains deep
interest…even in a 47 second car commercial….
the recipe for compelling narrative
✤ what makes this complex TV storytelling so compelling
to watch is the very thing that makes great brand
And libraries are brands.
✤ one of the best brands around, actually…
• why aren’t libraries (like post offices in
Ireland and Germany) local financial
services hubs? why can’t libraries
secure their future by helping their
communities incubate better, smarter,
more agile businesses?
• why can't libraries become publishers of
local culture, local fiction, local film, local
music, local dance—the coordinating
media layer that all these arts
communities need to grow locally?
• why aren't library archives and image
banks 'rented' as unique media
resources by local businesses who want
to share their stories in a true local
• why aren't library makerspaces
embracing community newsrooms—
media hubs which define and explore
what it means to live right here, right
now—and growing the culture to boot?
Now’s the best time to start mapping and
strategizing and identifying cultural
triggers to get you and your library and
your community to the place where story
meets data meets culture