Expert tips on management communications and the power of storytelling
Is it just me--or do a lot of you, too, feel overwhelmed with all the demands on your time? Why does it seem that life only gets more pressured rather than less so as time goes on--and we get wiser, as I have always expected!
An insight from today's news made me feel better instantly. Christina Wall, a grad student Eastern Michigan University, decided to do her master's thesis on what life was like before it was infused with everything high tech. She's living with devices that were in existence prior to 1950. That means no TV (yes, it existed but wasn't a common home device), no computers, no e-mail, no cell phones, etc.
What she's found is that each day seems to have 40 hours! Wall is amazed to discover that she has much more time to read, play the piano, and connect with friends both in person and on the phone (a rotary dial, naturally). She also says she's spending less; without a debit card to mindlessly slide through the checkout, she thinks more about what she buys.
What a relief to know it isn't my imagination! (Of course, I knew I wasn't imagining it, but it's always great to get confirmation.)
It's always gratifying to learn of another company whose leaders appreciate--and effectively use--the power of storytelling. And it's particularly exciting to learn that an organization respected as a leader in a luxury market is dedicated to the practice I've been "preaching" for nearly 14 years.
So imagine how delighted I was to see an article today in BusinessWeek.com about Ritz-Carlton's use of stories. The highlight of the article relates how daily employee meetings at every hotel around the world features the sharing of a "wow" story--the same story at every hotel--that exemplifies the extraordinary level of service the hotel strives for.
One of best things about being a consultant is the opportunity to work with people I enjoy and admire who are bright, successful and creative. Among the most innovative of all the people I've ever worked with are two entrepreneurs named Kevin Young and Bill Span, who are based in a popular, sophisticated, hip, beautiful--and just plain fun--suburb of Seattle called Kirkland, my former home for 16 years.
I've had the pleasure of working with Kevin and Bill as they've launched several companies, contributing my skills in helping them tell their corporate story to prospective investors and customers. The latest is perhaps the most exciting venture. It's called The Branding Foundry, and it's got a powerhouse executive team. Chief among them is Rowland Hanson, the marketing genius behind Microsoft's Windows brand. Rowland was written up in a blog by the Seattle P-I's venture capital reporter today, which you can read by going to the February 1, 2007 posting at http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/venture/
The new company brings together a team of experts in consumer product branding and direct TV marketing (based on infomercial creation and placement) with major retail partners ready to sell the selected products and services after customer demand has reached prime levels. It's an inventor's dream! To read more about The Branding Foundry, go to http://www.thebrandingfoundry.com