The Harvard Business Review site posted this video of Peter Guber (Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment Group; ex CEO of Sony Pictures) on The Art of Purposeful Storytelling. In a punchy 6 minute interview, Guber gets to the essence of using narrative, or storytelling, in all aspects of business life and summarises five essential dimensions of good storytelling:
- Be authentic
- Be interested in the audience
- Be clear about your goal in telling your story
- Be interactive – effective storytelling is a dialogue, not a monologue
- Have great content – examples, anecdotes, memories and context
The video references an article which Guber wrote for HBR back in December 2007 and, for anyone interested in the subject, its worth the $6.95 to download. Guber’s four truths (in similar line to the above) are:
- Truth to the Teller (authenticity)
- Truth to the Audience (audience)
- Truth to the Moment (interactive and flexible)
- Truth to the Mission (goal)
Appropriately enough, the article is very well written and is a great example of its own subject with a strong sense of narrative and engaging storytelling. Guber’s opening tale of a trip to Havana and his encounter with Castro is compelling. Later in the article, his description of a dinner he arranged to explore various insights on storytelling with leaders in the field is described with unusual richness for a business paper.
The article explores the role of a Leader as Storyteller and grounds storytelling in its original purpose of preserving those truths essential for survival of the group (tribe, population etc.).
Well worth a read, or at least a few minutes to watch the video.