The enemy of your stories

narrative, story, vision
Business narratives are hard to convey because they force us to articulate why our business exists and why others should consider what we do.  Jeff Bezos’s executive meetings start in silence. Everybody has 30 minutes to read the executives’ six-page memos in which they discuss their ideas in narrative form. Why in narrative form? So that everybody fully understands what they are trying to present. PowerPoint is not allowed. A business needs to be clear about its narrative before turning it into stories. The narrative covers why they are here, why they cares, what they are changing, and why it matters. The narrative can sometimes be understood as the foundations of the story. Apple’s narrative is great design and performance, and building a better future. Before we tell any story…
Read More

The narrative before the leap

imposter syndrome, narrative
Have you noticed the voice in your head every time something good is happening in your business or in your life? Have you realised how you find excuses not to jump at an opportunity? Can you see the pattern? There is a diference between self-talk and self-sabotage, and it’s sneaky. Self-talk can encourage you to bring out your best, but self-sabotage will find reasons not to do what you want to do. The problem is recognising which is talking. Here are some questions to ask yourself when self-sabotage is knocking at your door. Is this project, client, opportunity something I’ve wanted for a long time? If this goes well (define ‘well’), will it make a difference to my life and my business? What am I most scared of? Is this…
Read More

It’s lonely here

hero, narrative
Some time ago I watched a BBC documentary on Moreno Ocampo, who was the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague at the time. The documentary emphasised Moreno Ocampo’s loneliness facing his titanic task: bringing global justice to this world. He was shown walking alone at night, making his way home after an exhausting day, alone in his flat eating a frugal breakfast without a trace of another human being. He was shown as a man devoted to a sole cause, and this cause deserved all of his effort. It surprised me that the documentary followed this narrative of the lonely hero to show the personality and strength of the main character. What about the other people working in the same building and for the same cause? What…
Read More