“Reason and emotion are not separate and opposed.
Reason is nestled upon emotion and dependant on it.
Emotion assigns value to things, and reason can only make choices on the basis of those valuations.”
That’s not me talking. That’s David Brooks talking in his new book titled The Social Animal.
I was thinking about the above passage as I was reading a very entertaining article by Derek Decloet about Research In Motion a few days ago, in the last issue of the Report on Business Magazine. The article was titled Investors to RIM: Tell us a story.
Before I proceed, a quick reminder: Research In Motion is a top-notch company with a very popular product.
In short, RIM is doing well.
In the above article however, Derek was suggesting that RIM is not very good at storytelling.
Okay, but how important can the art of storytelling really be in today’s digitally powered world?
Apparently, very important. Here’s a Derek Decloet advice to RIM:
“Tell investors a story they can understand. That’s what Apple does.
Because your communications strategy is indecipherable. Look, RIM doesn’t need to suck up to the press like some two-bit operation on the Venture Exchange. But you’re fighting a war of perception, and you’re losing. It isn’t helping that RIM’s approach to the media is all over the map—by turns paranoid, friendly, angry, co-operative, controlling or aloof.” (You can read the entire article here.)
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Are you surprised that storytelling is back front and center in the business world?
I didn’t know that it ever left.
Maybe that’s because I’m in the business of creating stories.
Storytelling is a demanding craft, but over the years, I’ve gleaned some insights into the alchemy of great stories. Here’s one: people are more open to ideas expressed through stories.
Said differently, unless your message moves the human heart, it likely won’t do you much good.
So, don’t overlook the mind, but don’t forget that the heart is the bull’s-eye.
But don’t have to take my word for it. Just ask David Brooks or Derek Decloet.