Archive | storytelling

The Curious Case of Clever Hans

Long before Mr. Ed, the talking horse, Clever Hans was a horse who apparently could understand human language and answer mathematical questions. In the late 1800s, a German high school mathematics instructor named Wilhelm Von Osten believed humans had underestimated animal intelligence and that animals could learn to read or count. Von Osten’s initial attempts…

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The Parable of the Kid and the Barber

A few years ago I read psychologist Walter Mischel’s book, “The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control,” which provides recommendations on how to substantially increase your ability to control your impulses, including: Create good habits Visualize long-term consequences Disassociate from situations so they are less personal This strategy even managed to teach self-control to Sesame Street’s Cookie…

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Every company needs a compelling origin story

Every company needs a compelling origin story. An origin story reveals how a character became the protagonist (or antagonist), usually providing a compelling event which explains their intentions or behavior. Comics and movies use origin stories to explain how characters got their superpowers or why they are supervillains. Recently, entertainment companies have rewritten the origins…

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Successful Authors Explain Why They Write

If writing were illegal I’d be in prison. I can’t not write. It’s a compulsion. — David Baldacci For most, writing isn’t a lucrative profession; it’s a passion. According to Meredith Maran, “one million manuscripts are currently searching for a U.S. publisher. One percent of these will get the nod.” But publishing a book isn’t…

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Lily Pads and Exponential Thinking

Longtime readers of my personal blog will know I believe storytelling is a fantastic way to introduce new ideas, make announcements more memorable, or to ensure you can break through the noise of traditional communication. As I wrote several years ago, We want consumers to view themselves as protagonists in a story with the brand…

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