Purposeful Storytelling and the Four Truths–Peter Guber

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.


About Andrew Munro

An independent business consultant, interim manager and writer, Andrew operates through his company, Burning Pine Ltd (http://burningpine.com).
This entry was posted in Organisational Humanity and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Purposeful Storytelling and the Four Truths–Peter Guber

  1. Pingback: Telling Your Story | Andrew Munro's Blog

  2. Pingback: Great Storytelling to Grow Your Business–Fast Company | Andrew Munro's Blog

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