Insight article

Silent Witness and the emotional connection

What has Silent Witness got to do with connecting an organisation to their business story?

The BBC series involves a team of forensic pathologists, lead by a Professor Leo Dalton. The basic storyline involves the police finding one or more dead bodies, and the ‘paths’ then have to figure out who the murderer is. On a rational level this has a certain interest, as the clues emerge and the audience is asked to guess ‘who done it’.

But the challenge is that forensic experts are detached from the crime. They are dealing with facts from dead bodies on a shiny metal table. It’s hardly the scene to get a hanky out.

So, the writers add an emotional connection. In the last episode this involved Leo knowing the mother of one of the victims (an old flame), and the crime taking place in Sheffield, where Leo’s partner and daughter were tragically killed. Now he’s personally, as well as professionally involved. And because storytelling creates empathy, so are we.

In creating the narrative of a business journey, we and our clients can often seem like forensic pathologists, searching for the rational argument that links together the why, what and how. But if you can bring that rational story to life by linking it to the people involved: employees, customers, suppliers, and show how it related to their personal desires, challenges, ambitions etc. Then you’ve got the making of a really compelling story.

Nailia Tasseel