As yet another indication that storytelling is the new black, it’s become a go-to topic for a range of publications.
Fast Company provides a good Exhibit A.
It’s not exactly science, but the number of mentions of “storytelling” in the publication over the past three years is still revealing:
I think we can conclude that Fast Company increasingly believes storytelling can help fast companies.
Here’s my five favorite Fast Company articles on storytelling from last year:
I love this article. Rob Walker and Josh Glenn bought a bunch of tchotchkes at flea markets and yard sales with the average price coming in at $1.29. They then created a story for each item, selling them on eBay for $36.12 on average. For the math challenged, that’s a 2,706% increase in value.
The way Invisible Children has told its story has changed the life trajectory for thousands in Uganda as well as the United States, it’s a great example of how a compelling story moves both hearts and minds. Also appreciated the point that strength of conviction helps push through the tough times.
It’s not enough for brands to push out stories. The article explains how leading brands use storytelling to engage their customers. One way involves a twist on thought leadership, curating content with relevance to your audience to build a community. American Express and its Open Forum has been trailblazer with this approach and connecting with small biz.
Former McKinsey consultant Kaihan Krippendorf shares a first-person narrative from participating in a storytelling workshop. While the storytelling arc isn’t exactly breakthrough, I did like the idea of “using lots of lots.” This involves using lots of “language of the senses” sharing with the audience what you see, smell, feel, etc.
Jonathan Gottschall, author of The Storytelling Animal, offers this essay that tackles the how and why of storytelling. Trying to persuade with facts and figures only causes people to read with their dukes up. On the other hand, being absorbed in a story results in the dropping of our intellectual guard.
I welcome additions to the list if there’s another Fast Company story that stands out in your mind.