Lies, Truth, Myth and Narrative

I came across this in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s new book, The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

“You can replace lies with truth; but myth is only displaced with a narrative”

The power of storytelling in a nutshell.

Organisations, especially when reacting to events, are usually good with the first piece; producing reams (or terabytes) of press releases, FAQ’s and case studies.  Too seldom do they invest in advance in building a strong and coherent narrative which has the capacity to emotionally engage the reader, i.e. a “story”. 

The very best live their narrative, but that is not often not available to the very large and established enterprises who have long outgrown their own story (you know, the one with founder heroes, the desperations of making-do and hard-fought campaigns leading to epic victories); the good re-build their narrative for the times, investing time and money in imbuing their story into their culture and thinking hard about how it all joins together.  The mediocre simply react to events.

About Andrew Munro

An independent business consultant, interim manager and writer, Andrew operates through his company, Burning Pine Ltd (
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