"Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today."
Point to Ponder (from Anthony De Mello, one of the greatest story tellers):
"It is a great mystery that though the human heart longs for Truth in which it alone it finds liberation and delight, the first reaction of human beings to Truth is one of hostility and fear. So the Spiritual Teachers of humanity created a device to circumvent the opposition of their listeners: the story.
They knew that the most entrancing words a language holds are 'Once
upon a time...,' that it is common to oppose a truth but impossible to
resist a story. Vyasa, the author of the Mahabharata, says that if you
listen carefully to a story you will never be the same again. That is
because the story will worm its way into your heart and break down the
barriers to the divine.
You have to understand, my dears, that the shortest distance between truth and a human being is a story."
Once upon a time, there was a company whose business had grown by leaps and bounds in the few years after it’s founding. The company had a unique design methodology for which it held many patents, and it was pioneer in that field.
For the first few years, it generated phenomenal revenue growth through design wins and quick turns. But lack of focus on manufacturing excellence and quality was starting to take it’s toll on profit and volume orders. The word in the hallway was that the CEO was too design and marketing focused and did not understand (or care to understand) the importance of other functions such as manufacturing, logistics etc.
There was a group of employees in there who believed that the company had an opportunity to have a quantum leap increase in revenue and profit, if it expanded focus on all functions that are critical and not just design and marketing. But how to and who will take a risk to convince the boss?
One of the employees on the team went to the CEO’s building. He noticed that outside CEO’s office, there was a framed picture of an advertisement from a magazine which showed a customer’s PC board with about 11 of his company’s chips on that board. The title of advertisement said, (the company's name) “across the board.”
He thought: there lies the solution! Since that advertisement was outside CEO’s office, it must be important to him. How about I draw analogy and create a picture of our company in form of a PC board and show different functions (design, manufacturing, logistics, sales, marketing etc.) in form of chips with interconnections between them?
To cut the rest of the story short, the picture was created and presented to the CEO in a review to emphasize the need for reengineering the corporate structure. It took less than two minutes into the story for CEO to say that he needed to focus on each part of his company to achieve optimal performance. He even joked, "If I design and focus on my chips like the way I have focused on my organizational structure, customer’s PC board would never work.”Sequel: The revenue tripled in next five years with handsome profits and stock price.
Reflection: "Why was Solomon recognized as the wisest man in the world? Because he knew more stories (proverbs) than anyone else. Scratch the surface in a typical boardroom and we're all just cavemen with briefcases, hungry for a wise person to tell us stories." - Alan Kay, vice president at Walt Disney.
** Quote in Title is attributed to Robert McKee.