The Story Business

Presented by: Deanna Smith, Ian Taylor,
Caleb Wiles, and Lee M Lester
A Whole New Mind
Brain has 100
billion cells and one
Left Hemisphere
controls the right
side of the body
and vice versa
In almost every task
the brain works in
 Sequence
 Literalness
 Analysis
 Emotional
 Context
 The Big Picture
“A picture is worth a thousand words”
Standardized Tests
Greek 550 B.C.
TPRS learning
Software Engineers/Computer Programmers
 India produces 350K engineering grads
 48% of GE’s software is developed in India
 China is producing just as many engineering
grads as the US
John Henry
Gary Kasparvo
Produces products
Can someone overseas do it cheaper?
Can a computer do it faster?
Is what I’m offering in demand in an age of
Design is the combination of both utility and
Utility- providing a specific function.
Significance- transmitting ideas/emotions
that words cannot convey.
Utility, today, is widespread, inexpensive, and
relatively easy to achieve, which increases the
value of significance.
“I think designers are the
alchemists of the future” –
Richard Koshalek, president, Art
Center College of Design
Three reasons design has become an aptitude
for personal fulfillment and professional
◦ Good design is now more accessible than ever –
more people can partake in its pleasures
◦ Design is needed to create differentiation and a way
to create new markets.
◦ As more people develop a design sensibility, design
can be used for its ultimate purpose: changing the
“Good design is a renaissance attitude that combines
technology, cognitive science, human need, and beauty
to produce something that the world didn’t know it was
missing.” – Paola Antonelli, curator of architecture and
design, Museum of Modern Art
In the past, mainly the rich and powerful were
able to relish in the significance of design,
while others had to settle for just the utility.
“Design in its simplest form is the activity of
creating solutions. Design is something
that everyone does every day.” – Frank
Now, design is becoming more common.
Ex: Our access to hundreds, thousands, or
even millions of different fonts.
“Aesthetics matter. Attractive things work
better.” – Don Norman, author and
engineering professor
Design has gone beyond just the commercial
Example: Sony has four hundred in-house
developers, but the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints has sixty designers on staff
as well.
“Design is the only thing that
differentiates one product from
another in the marketplace.” – Norio
Ohga, former chairman, Sony.
Companies used to compete on price, quality, or
both, but now, those are nothing but tickets to
enter the market.
After companies satisfy price and quality, they
must then focus on less financial/functional
qualities, such as whimsy, beauty, and meaning.
We use a toaster at most 15 minutes a day. The
other 1,425 minutes: it’s on display. 1% utility,
99% significance.
“Businesspeople don’t need to
understand designers better. They
need to be designers.” – Roger Martin,
dean, Rotman Management School.
Good design can change the world.
• Health care: Physicians and administrators
usually consider design secondary to
prescribing drugs and performing surgery.
• A study at Pittsburgh’s Montefiore Hospital:
surgery patients in rooms with ample natural
light required less pain medication, and their
drug costs were 21% lower than their
counterparts in traditional rooms.
• A better example: the 2000 US Presidential
• Democrats said that the US Supreme Court
handed the election to George W. Bush by halting
the recount of the ballots. Republicans said that
the Democrats were trying to steal the election by
getting voting officials to count “chads” – the
rectangular ballot pieces – that were not fully
punched out.
• They were both wrong.
• Turns out that in Palm Beach County, a heavily
Democratic enclave populated by tens of thousands of
elderly Jewish voters, ultraconservative Pat Buchanan
received 3,407 votes (statistical analysis showed that if
voting patterns in the other counties in Florida had held
in Palm Beach, Buchanan would have received roughly
603 votes).
• 5,237 voters marked ballots for both Al Gore AND Pat
Buchanan, making their ballots invalid, causing Bush to
carry the state by 537 votes.
• All of this controversy occurred because of a bad
Being told a fact vs Being told a story
◦ Someone can be told numerous facts, but when asked a
question about those facts, there is a low chance that
the person will remember every fact correctly (with some
exceptions, of course).
◦ Now, if I tell the same person a story, then ask questions
about that story, the person listening is more likely to
answer questions correctly because stories are easier to
remember due to how our brain works
Story is just as integral to the human
experience as design
As important as story has been, in the
“Information Age”, it has received a bad
“Humans are not ideally set up to
understand logic; they are ideally set
up to understand stories.” – Roger C.
Schank, cognitive artist
As facts become more available to the world,
which is a good thing, the values of those
facts start to decrease. How those facts are
put into context and to deliver them with
emotional impact begins to matter more.
This is what Story is about- context enriched
by emotion
Robert McKee: influential figure in Hollywood. He
holds seminars teaching aspiring screenwriters how
to write a story. His students have gone to win
twenty-six Academy Awards.
What does this have to do with business? Everything.
Recently, McKee has attracted the following kinds of
people seeking his mentoring: executives,
entrepreneurs, and workers of traditional business.
Story makes business big money.
Advertising, counseling, consulting, and so
forth – 25% of US gross domestic product
If Story is a component of half of these
efforts, it is worth about $1 trillion a year to
the US economy.
Organizational storytelling
◦ Steve Denning – a founder of said movement
◦ Began as a lawyer in Sydney, and then went on to
become a midlevel executive at World Bank.
◦ “I was a left brain person. Big organizations love
that kind of person.” – Steve Denning
Organizational storytelling
◦ One day, in a shake-up, Denning was sent to an
organization equivalent in Siberia: a department known
as “knowledge management”, eventually becoming the
department’s chief.
◦ After a while, he began a transformation. While trying to
figure out what knowledge required management, he
found that he learned more from trading stories in the
cafeteria than he ever did reading the bank’s official
documents and reports, changing his L-Directed
approach of the first twenty-five years in his career into
an R-Directed approach, making World Bank a leader in
knowledge management by containing and conveying
knowledge in the form of stories.
Story is also becoming a great way to
distinguish goods and services in a crowded
In order to try and distinguish your
goods/services from others, using stories
instead of just stating facts in advertisements
can cause potential customers/clients to have
an emotional connection with you as a
goods/service provider, as opposed to a
connection based on facts alone.
Medicine and medical devices are becoming
more and more important in people’s lives
every day by continuously saving many lives
and improving others. But, at the expense of
the improved medicine and medical devices,
the aspect of care has become more
”Unfortunately, medicine sees anecdote
as the lowest form of science.” – Dr.
Jack Coulehan, Stony Brook University
Hospital in New York.
Ex: You go to the doctor. Upon seeing the doctor, you
begin to tell a story of why you are there. The doctor will
most likely stop you and rely on the just-the-facts
approach, telling you what’s wrong and what to take to fix
While that can work and the medicine will most likely make
you feel better, the doctor ignoring the story negates the
emotional connection they have to the patient. Having
that connection can help ensure that the doctor is giving
you the right medication/procedure to help cure you and
in turn, decrease the chance of a misdiagnosis occurring.
Facts are still needed in medicine, but also integrating
Story can help physicians imbue their works with greater
“Stories – that’s how people make sense of what’s happening
to them when they get sick. They tell stories about
themselves. Our ability as doctors to treat and heal is bound
up in our ability to accurately perceive a patient’s story. If
you can’t do that, you’re working with one hand tied behind
your back.” – Dr. Howard Brody, family practice physician.
The ability to put together the pieces
The capacity to synthesize rather than to
To see relationships between seemingly
unrelated fields
To detect broad patterns rather than to
deliver specific answers
To invent something new by combining
elements nobody else thought to pair
All of these skills are attributed to R-Directed
Neuroscience research has mapped the brain
showing that the right hemisphere operates
in a simultaneous, contextual, and symphonic
Symphony is largely about relationships. In
Pink's Conceptual Age, people must
understand the connections between diverse,
and seemingly separate disciplines. Three
types of this conceptual thinker are:
The Boundary Crosser
The Inventor
The Metaphor Maker
Develop expertise in multiple spheres
Speak different languages
Reject either/or choices and seek multiple
options and blended solutions
“Hey you got peanut butter on my chocolate”
“And you got chocolate on my peanut butter”
Sometimes the most powerful ideas come
from simply combining two existing ideas
nobody else ever thought to unite.
John Fabel – Ecotrek backpacks
 Avid cross-country skier inspired by the
Brooklyn Bridge
Metaphor – understanding one thing in terms
of something else
“The Western tradition . . . Has excluded
metaphor from the domain of reason.” –
George Lakoff
Often considered ornamentation
The ability to marshal relationships into a
whole whose value exceeds the sum of its
The ability to grasp the relationships between
One recent study found that self-made
millionaires are four times more likely to be
Dyslexics struggle with L-Directed Thinking
and the linear, sequential, alphabetic
reasoning it entails
Integrative Medicine
 Combines conventional medicine with
alternative and complementary therapies
Holistic Medicine
 Aims to treat the whole person rather than
the particular disease
The ability to imagine yourself in someone
else’s position and to intuit what that person
is feeling
Spontaneous, an act of instinct rather than
the product of deliberation
Steven Platek, cognitive neuroscientist
 Contagious yawing is likely a primitive
empathic mechanism
 Found that contagious yawners score high on
various tests that measure levels of Empathy
Charles Darwin
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and
Animals, 1872
All mammals have emotions and that one way
they convey these emotions is through facial
Mostly ignored by science and psychology,
they felt that culture rather than nurture
produced our expressions.
Paul Ekman, psychologist
 Began a study in 1965, showing people
photos of faces fixed in various expressions
 Traveled to Japan, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile
 Found that people interpreted the
expressions the same no matter the country
 Expanded his study to an isolated tribe of
New Guinea
Achieved the same results
His conclusion: Darwin was right
Facial expressions are universal
Emotion is conveyed nonverbally
Our faces convey the full range of human
The right hemisphere of our brain both
expresses and reads emotion
University of Sussex study:
 A vast majority of women, regardless of being
right or left handed, cradled babies on their left
 The explanation: the only way to understand a
baby is to read their expressions and intuit their
 People use their right hemisphere for this
interpretation, which they enlist by turning to the
left (contra lateral)
Work that can be reduced to simply rules
require very little empathy
This kind of work will continue to be
programmed, automated, or outsourced
Empathy is reshaping medicine
Much of medical practice has been
Rules based medicine is effective and able to
be replicated by computers
New kind of health care professional – able to
combine rules based detachment with
emotion-based empathy
Medical schools are now teaching courses in
patient empathy
Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy (JSPE)
 High scores on the Empathy test correlated to
high mark in clinical care – all things being
equal, a patient was more likely to get better
with an empathetic doctor than a detached
Scores on the Empathy test bore no relation
to scores on the MCAT or licensing tests –
traditional measures of a physician's aptitude
aren’t necessarily relevant to determining the
best doctor
Nurses, high empathy jobs, scored higher
than phyicians with hospital-based
Multiple studies have shown that women are
generally better at reading facial expressions
and detecting lies
The Essential Difference, Simon Cohen 2003
“The female brain is predominantly hard-wired
for empathy. The male brain is predominately
hard-wired for understanding and building
But, more males than females have brains
that systemize and more females than males
have brains that empathize
Systemize – exactness, attention to local
detail, an attraction to fixed rules
independent of context, detachment
Empathize – inexactness (can only
approximate feelings), attention to the larger
picture, context, and a emotional attachment
Will need both attributes to be successful in
The Conceptual Age
Dr. Madan Kataria
Long life through laughter
Started “Laughter Clubs”
◦ 2500 in existence to date
◦ Worldwide
Video Games popularity increasing
Gaming industry nets more sales than the
movie industry
Recruiting via America’s Army
Studies support gamers playing
Right brained (frontal lobe) process
Good humor indicates “higher
emotional intelligence”
Left brained people tend to be less
humorous and/or understand humor
“Namaste Laugh”
“Think globally, laugh locally”
Laughter = Exercise ?
Laughter has exceptional
Viktor Frankl
“Man’s Search for
Survived Nazi imprisonment
Taking Spirituality Seriously
“Investigating the Mind” Conference
“A Spiritual Audit of Corporate
America” – Ian Mitroff
Spirit as Business
Taking Happiness Seriously
Maze vs. Labyrinth
Laugh Loud, Laugh Often
Thank you for