I spent some time today talking with a great filmmaker and TV producer. Her mantra for everything she creates is to what she called the “micro story:” that one, personal narrative that captures the whole.
We know this, but we don’t practice it.
We throw up statistics. We create mash-up stories profiling a series of good projects and forget that the end result of the glossy portrayals is so much less than the sum of the parts. We have conversations about giving to our organization that lead with programmatic jargon, budgets, abbreviations and ratios.
I think we’re afraid that telling real, honest stories will somehow be insulting to someone’s intelligence. We know that “people respond to stories” but the woman across the table from you is so smart and so accomplished that of course she “really wants to dig in.”
What if we imagine our audience wearing block-lettered, tacky t-shirts (like the caps that Frank from 30 Rock wears) that shout out:
I THINK WITH MY BRAIN
BUT I ACT FROM MY HEART
I bet we’d act differently, we’d inspire more often, we’d create genuine connection and a sense of hope.