Rafe Martin is a professional storyteller and award-winning author of books for adults and children.
My colleague Rafe Martin recently posted this blog which offers incredible insights about stories and folklore that are applicable both personally and professionally for all of us in business.
As a folklorist myself, it is not easy to link folklore to business -- and I've been doing this for 25+ years! Rafe does a masterful job. I'll share some quotes from the article to entice you to read the entire post:
"There is no little man or woman inside our skulls giving directions. In essence the human interior we live within, that realm of compelling thoughts, attitudes, judgments -- the ones we listen to, are guided by and which shape our lives -- is built of dreams, and those dreams seem to remain astonishingly constant throughout human cultures and time. Those dreams form, and are formed by, folklore." These dreams are present in your business, forming continuity and stability between past, present and future as we strive to create and bring new products/services to the marketplace. Knowing this keeps us grounded.
"Folklore maps the territory, shows us the roads before us, and sets us free to walk the roads we choose-after allowing us to experience each road for ourselves. For, in stories, folk stories, all the characters are so universal as to be not individual characters as in fiction, but more generally recognizable aspects of our own psyches; characters common to all. Which is why the one voice, of one storyteller, can carry and reveal them." Well crafted business stories speak to universal life themes and common characters. Our business stories -- while not folktales -- are pieces of folklore in their own right.
"In other words we, our psyches, NEED folklore. Our psyches are folklore. To lose folklore is not just to lose a few stories. It is to lose a realm of imagination we need to understand our lives, and even to survive." And what is business without imagination? Drudgery!
"TV relaxes us, helps us forget the days’ burdensome decisions and tasks. A necessary ally these days. In many ways it has become the folklore of the time. Yet it does not do what true tales do-it does not restore us. It does not open the mind to wonder. It does not create multi-leveled images that you can chew on your whole life." Our biz stories, when well crafted, move beyond what I call junk-food stories, and can provide context and meaning that we can chew on for a long time.
"Of our own interior. Folktales are the first true simulations and are more interactive than any computer game." Get unplugged once in awhile. Attend a storytelling festival to get renewed and refreshed (http://storynet.org/events/calendar.php). It's soul food :)
This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it