Stories drive humans – not data
I've been talking today to the CFO of a major global technology client on the day it launches the story of the company's future ambition for growth.
How refreshing to talk to a CFO who completely endorses the narrative structure of the story as a means of getting the message across. Numbers and PowerPoint go hand-in-hand, after all, and you might expect somebody in his position – as the chief custodian of 'The Numbers' – to push back against anything other than PowerPoint to present his case. On the contrary, the big picture – and the necessity for people to remember the higher message – are his main concern.
This has particularly relevance for me, having just read an intelligent and thought-provoking article by Juma Wood at The Vancouver Sun on how stories lie at the heart of human motivation, not data. Juma explains how the heart or gut needs to be engaged before people will formulate sensible reasons to act. It's worth a read, and absolutely resonates with us. For any business leader wanting their people to change, a simple and compelling story is the starting point, not a tsunami of statistics and numbers that may well scream a message from within, but will do little to spark the imagination and provoke a human being to really want to do something differently.