“Think about that loincloth-draped prehistoric guy…When evening fell and he and his buddies returned home, they probably sat around the campfire trading tales about escaping saber-toothed tigers or renovating the family cave. His brain, like ours had an internal “story grammar” that helped him understand the world not as a set of logical propositions but as a pattern of experiences” (Pink 102). Throughout history, stories have been used to share experiences. Parents read their children stories, but they also tell them stories. Other adults pass on what they have learned in life through stories. How can this have possibly been overlooked in the world? Or has it? Research has shown that “Even though publications all over the nation - and even the world - are writing about the companies, organizations and trainers who are making use of the power of storytelling, very few of the upper echelon will react well to our telling them that they need "storytelling” (King). Storytelling is important. People need to know how to develop their own stories in order to make themselves more marketable and accessible. Story is one of the “right brain” senses that Daniel Pink suggests in his book A Whole New Mind, people develop in order to enhance what they already know with their “left brain”. Pink states “minimizing the importance of story places you in professional and personal peril” (Pink 102). So what does that mean for young people? The sense of story is a human ability and will be impossible to automate, so it is the most important sense to develop to be successful in the future.


In order to be successful in the workplace in the Conceptual Age, people must develop their sense of storytelling to not only start a career, but also sustain and maintain it. One of the most important things to do when applying and interviewing for a job is to be memorable. One of the ways to do that is to incorporate story. In one article, it relayed the story of how when seven applicants were asked to tell a success story, only one of the seven told and actual story…all of the other applicants went on to explain facts, statistics and knowledge (Brown, et al). Obviously the interviewers were looking for a “story,” so the person that actually told one got the job. Pink also explains that it is important to tell stories. “…If a business person understands that his or her own mind naturally wants to frame experience in a story, the key to moving the audience is not to resist this impulse, but to embrace it” (Pink 106). In order to get a job in the future, people will have to be willing to take a risk and share their stories. Of course, once someone gets a job they must sustain it. Many companies are focusing on training their staff in how to tell a story in order to maintain a high level of competitiveness with other companies. “We focus on two transfer mechanisms-mentoring and storytelling-that can leverage the knowledge of an organization, particularly its tacit knowledge, to build core capabilities” (Swap). In the novel it is stated that the “clearest example is a nascent movement called “organizational storytelling” which aims to make organizations aware of the stories that exists within their walls—and then use those stories in pursuit of organization goals” (Pink 107). Of course, there are many different ways to make companies desirable and needed. One way personnel can make their mark in a company is by using springboard stories. Springboard stories [are used] for better understanding how to bring strategic change to organizations, how to communicate in ways that impact skeptical audiences and in general, how to rethink knowledge management from a customer perspective” (Brown). In general, they are used to humanize a company. Pink shares in AWNM how two brothers use a springboard story to sell wine. On the back of the bottle, the owners share a heartwarming story of how they decided to make wine in honor of their mother who died of cancer. They will donate a portion of their sales to a variety of cancer research in her name (Pink 111). Obviously this is a brilliant marketing strategy. One is able to imagine the winemakers through the story that they share on their bottle, thus humanizing their company. It is no longer 2 Brothers Big Tattoo Red, it is now two sons honoring their mom. This story is what makes them stand out from their competition which ultimately will help them maintain a market. Storytelling is becoming excessively important in the workplace. To stand a chance of being successful, one must practice the art of storytelling in order to start and keep a worthwhile career.


Storytelling will also become increasingly important in maintaining relationships.

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Although it is important to develop storytelling techniques, it is also important to know when not to tell a story. Often times, it is important to focus on the task at hand instead of trying to incorporate a story. It’s important to know “when the audience doesn’t want a story: If the audience has requested a numerical analysis and a spreadsheet, offering a story may simply enrage the audience” (Brown, et all). If someone asks a direct question and a story is offered, that may give the indication that an answer is not known and that a company is incompetent. Daniel Pink also states “narrative competence cannot replace technical expertise. A doctor who listens emphatically to her patient’s story…but prescribes the wrong drug is not long for the profession” (Pink 114). It is extremely important to be aware of different circumstances so that one knows whether or not telling a story is acceptable. It is also important to hold onto stories until they are ready. Telling a story when it hasn’t been practiced or perfected could result in detriment.
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Stories are powerful tools when used correctly, but it is important to not change stories or be deceptive while using them.
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