Got a few minutes? Do you like something thought provoking?
In this excellent article, John Hagel for Edge Perspectives, starts off by saying that we all need context in a world where there are so many available options it can be disorienting. Ultimately however, he talks about the importance of narrative: defining it, giving examples of it and expressing its importance to us now, in a world where so many no longer resonate to the narratives that took us from what they replaced to the here and now.
He differentiates between personal, institutional and societal narrative, suggesting that the 2nd of these has particularly lost its way in recent years. My takeaways, which couple with my prior thoughts on the subject, are that personal narrative is going through a rebirth, as is that of smaller institutions. There is evidence of where larger institutions fails when they give up on narrative, and succeed when they create or embrace a new one. Unfortunately the area that we are furthest behind in is the most difficult area of all. Whether we agree or disagree with the societal narratives that got us this far, creating new unifying forces for us in this area is the real challenge. The context is in how we relate to the broader narrative.
There is a reason that stories which can unite people in their tens or hundreds of millions come around so rarely In an age of so much information, the task of creating the new narratives through which we can move forward in unison, is the most difficult it has ever been. And herein lies the challenge with which the article ends.
"The role of a narrative is ultimately to attract, engage, motivate and call people to more fully achieve their potential. Narratives represent a powerful pull mechanism that can shape the world around us.
Who will craft these broader social narratives? Who even understands the need and power of a new set of social narratives? What would such narratives look like?"
"We live in a world of ever more change and choice, a world where we have far more opportunity than ever to achieve our potential. That kind of world is enormously exciting, and full of options. But it is also"...