The power of storytelling

“This buggy signifies everything that ended my happy carefree low cost child free life”

– lessons from eBay on the power of storytelling

Storytelling - buggy 26-05-2016

‘Storytelling’ is in vogue, as a dynamic tool to bring research findings to life.

A couple of recent eBay listings would seem to confirm the power of storytelling:

Joel Andresier of Southampton listed his used baby buggy, waxing lyrically (and in my opinion quite hilariously) about the impact it had had on his life (check the link – he’s less than positive!).  At one point bids hit £154,200 and prompted 6 pages of buyer questions (he did reset the price leading to an eventual sale at £325, as Mr. Andresier wasn’t optimistic about the bidder stumping up £150K!)

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“How am I supposed to walk in that?”

We’re sure you’ve seen the recent coverage of one temp’s fight calling for the law to be changed so companies can no longer force women to wear high heels to work, click here to read the full story.

Working from a small, friendly and casual office, we’ve got a fairly relaxed approach to what people wear, so heels, suits, and enforced dress codes aren’t an issue for us but we loved this film from @Stylistmagazine, which points an uncomfortable, although hilarious perspective on high heels; no one is pointing a gun at our heads to wear them, but many of us do.   Lots to think about with this one….

It brought to mind Naomi Wolf’s brilliant book ‘ The Beauty Myth’.  Written back in 1990, it is a damning feminist perspective on society’s and women’s treatment of themselves.  It’s 26 years old now, but amazing how little has changed.

Well done to Stylist Magazine, for so brilliantly and pertinently capturing the zeitgeist, and encouraging us all to think more deeply about the underlying issues, whilst being laugh out loud funny.



British Men Try High Heels For A Day via @YouTube

Getting my hustle on

Getting my hustle on

So you’re now either picturing Paul Newman or Tom Cruise in a dimly lit pool hall or maybe even hearing the brilliant Van McCoy telling us all to ‘Do the hustle’.

For a word most often associated with manipulation and deceit, it really caught my attention at a recent event I attended, listening to some of my favourite inspirational entrepreneurs, how often the varied speakers referred to hustling.

Of course, they were not proposing we all adopt a more criminal approach to our business endeavours.  Rather that we seize opportunities with both hands and full commitment – head and heart aligned to create significant intent and action.

This flip of hustle from shady to shiny really stands out for me.  A philosophy that’s about rolling up your sleeves and throwing yourself into the mix is both energising and motivating.  I will admit to a tendency to wait for ‘perfection’ before acting (yes, it’s one hell of a long wait!).  I find the nudge that ‘hustling’ delivers to be confidence boosting and legitimising of risk taking.

As an industry we’ve never been under more demand to innovate and move boldly, at the same time as increasingly needing to demonstrate ROI for our clients, which creates a particular kind of tension.  Risk taking and innovation by their essence being ‘untried and untested’ require a leap of faith on the part of all stakeholders.  But these leaps are how we get to game changing ideas and services.   We can take inspiration from the brilliant James Dyson who, despite continual  doors shutting in his face (‘nobody will ever want a bagless vacuum’) persevered (to the point of mortgaging his own home), to bring his innovative designs to the marketplace.   I think he’s had decent ROI on his risk!

So taking bold steps feels rather important, not just for brands and businesses but for our own brands – personal and professional.  So bring the hustle on!