This is the first edition of Uplifting Story. Conceived just before the calamity of Covid-19, it has been dredged into birth after nine months of stewing, much of that in lockdown.
At the beginning of the year before we had any idea of what 2020 had in store for us, I visited Sue Barrett, founder of Barrett Consulting to talk about the role of story in selling.
The fires were raging. Sue, a committed environmentalist asked me what role it could play in persuading people to act positively, or behave differently in relation to climate change. I didn’t have a full answer at the time, but it was a challenge to reflect on.
It called for a model to identify who it was that might be persuaded to change behaviour as a result of storytelling. I called it the Climate Change Spectrum— on the one-side eco-terrorists, on the other flat-earthers and every belief system in between.
It seemed to me that story had a role to play in the section bordered by the climate apathetic, the armchair dweller and the would-be activists. After all these people would number in the millions in Australia, let alone the world. There was work for story to be done here.
Could this approach work for any issue we want to solve today—every aspect of social injustice, modern slavery, re-afforestation, aged care, healthcare, loneliness. . .the list goes on?
. . . time to share the stories that fill us with hope not despair, inspiration not deflation, motivation not apathy.
In addition to 2020 producing enough horror stories all on its own to trammel with our minds and our sleep, we’ve also had to contend with the incendiary, the lies and the conspiracies.
We humans cannot manufacture creativity, innovation and action out of hopelessness, fear and anxiety.
It’s time to change the dynamic and become active in sourcing and sharing the stories that fill us with hope not despair, inspiration not deflation, motivation not apathy. It is these stories that will change how we think, what we believe, and how we act.
What am I doing?
Covid-19 has created the opportunity to put my training online. Previously called Story at Work, with this new thinking in mind, I reworked it to Changing Stories. I’ve run two training and one coaching program under its banner so far.
A small community is growing in Facebook called Changing Stories Clan, and more recently some of us have gathered for informal Friday afternoon events, Uplifting Story. One of our clan has volunteered to facilitate the next free and free-flowing session and I hope this will set a precedent, so that anyone might feel free to volunteer in the role and share with their community. You can book here.
The Great Reset
The World Economic Forum in its groundbreaking initiative The Great Reset, says it is the storytellers that will change the world. ( Highly recommend watching this video. It might make you feel less overwhelmed, that the world is not entirely in the hands of megalomaniacs, and we do have a handle on what must be done to fix what is so badly broken.)
It’s an ardent desire that these initiatives all round the world, together with our storytelling help will unleash a powerful collective of uplifting story voices to impact on the changes we must make for the sake of our children and grandchildren.
One story shifts the dial. Collective storytelling makes the change.