The skinny on E3–why we love Story and story telling

First It’s not easy to tell a story, and tell it well.

Second, I’m never clear why connections and links that occur naturally for me, are often a challenge for others.

It’s for these two reasons, that when I began to put together a series of ideas that kept emerging from multiple sources that I wanted to create a format to share this with others.

My goal was to make the learning as sticky, memorable and ultimately very practical and easy to extend.

WHAT 4, is a series of questions that help any organization of any size check and then challenge their capacity and capability to realize a greater vision that will ultimately resonate with their audience and yield results.

The questions, are part of a four-part design thinking model that is widely used in design schools and is often associated with generating new services or products.  Some go so far as to describe these questions as a process that can deliver innovation.E3 call this our WHAT4 process–What IS, IF, WOW and ultimately Works. The approach can be used to help troubleshoot more than your strategy formulation. Because the time and energy you invest transforms individual participants perspectives, connects them to others across the organization, engages them to work out the issue and reflect on the context that helps or hampers progress which ultimately results in the roadmap to generate effective, lasting solutions.

1. WhatIS–Journalism has used the 5Ws and a how set of questions to guide news writers and frame upfront in the lead concisely elements that the reader needs to know.  Who, what, Where, when, why and How are  all  helpful to anyone framing  a given situation’s reality which is  helpful in establishing  What IS, the first step in the process.  We help you put all your operating “knowns” on the table, get some clear agreement on the status quo, set the baseline for your plan of evolution.

2. Now imagine a change on any one or many of these elements, that’s how What IF generates ideas.  The activities associated with this second “what”  can be described as brainstorming, or ideation in a structured way.  For example, you might want to focus on a set of potential conditions that can change but  the starting What is baseline won’t constrain.

3.  The ideas in time needed to be checked, we prefer to ask What Wows?  Or which of the numerous suggestions are  truly brilliant, breakthrough game changers?

4. Finally you need to figure out What Works, again by connecting the ideas back to the conditions or realities of your current circumstances or conditions. By no means will What IS conditions be kill joys, rather you need to connect and understand what is  or isn’t possible , what bridges or changes need to occur, or what principles will help you recognize among the list of What IF, which WOW and then what will ultimately Work.

But descriptions are anything but sticky.  Our brain needs to attach something concrete to the ideas of WHAT4, it needs evidence of its value before it can help the descriptions fall easily into accessible places within our brain and become a useful tool or skill set. Enter Story, the power of narration creates natural listening cues and since our brains are lazy use the imaginative aspects to engage and alert the brain to listen and open the door to new learning.

Story allows us to play out, or imagine the possibilities requiring only a little dedicated time.

This Blog is where I hope you will return to find new stories and help you grow your imaginings.

Welcome to E3!

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