A master story teller has always captured our imagination during childhood. Stories told by our mom and dad , by friends have been a key influencer in our formative years. We have sought inspiration on stories at school, home and at work in building key input for our system. Stories have a powerful impact on the communication.
Back in 1893 one dark man was thrown out of a train bound to Pretoria at the Pieter Maritzberg Railway Station just because he was on the first class compartment that was mentioned for whites. A small story that was the beginning of a major “Ahimsa (non-violent) ” struggle in the history of the world. Today world over Ahimsa is a powerful phenomenon. Good or Bad, Stories by itself have been a powerful vehicle to boost communication of the message that we intend to pass to our listeners. And the power of story telling is a key enabler in effective communications.
Corporate world particularly IT has taken a great affinity for Storytelling. Right from building requirements based on user stories to playing real life scenarios to comply with business perspectives, stories are used to make a point across to listeners and as stories it becomes easier to remember and has lasting impact on listeners compared to abstract points. Today there are a lot of project management models where user stories form a key input to building solutions.
A lot of startups and entrepreneurs have a powerful and compelling story behind its formation. Be it the infamous Steve Jobs Speech at Stanford or Randy Paush’s ” The Last Lecture ” at the Carnegie Mellon or stories behind formation of Facebook, Reliance or Infosys, there is always a real life story that relates emotionally with the entrepreneur that led to the formation of the enterprise. Such stories tap into human emotions and connects a strong bond between the story teller and the listener. Stories tend to make it meaningful for people who build upon it. Organizations need to have compelling stories to align with their vision and collective purpose for achieving the larger goals. As leaders we need to be great story tellers and always lookout for that compelling story that can further our purpose and goals.
Project Managers / Product Managers need to acquire story telling skills to capture market opportunity , user requirements and how solutions seem to address market pain points effectively. Today’s agile development models are shaped on user stories as vital input not just for writing requirements but also to talk about users and for building effective solutions. User Stories tend to shift the focus from writing about features to talking about them.