Brain Story (The ONE Book, p. 203)

Did you know that one of the most compelling ways for us to learn and retain new information is through the act of storytelling? Whether we are the listeners or tellers – storytelling is an incredibly simple way to tap into our memory banks and plant seeds of ideas there. Just think of the life lessons you’ve gained over the years through different stories. Think of the emotions that can be evoked by hearing or telling a story! Stories quite literally light up our brains and it is this active brain state that this exercise taps into when it comes to brainstorming. The power of story is real!

What are some of the most important parts of a story? There needs to be characters (protagonist, antagonist etc.), there needs to be a setting, a plot, and an outcome. So, if you think about your current question/problem or opportunity that needs some new ideas – try telling a story about it using the basics of story writing:

  1. Who is the protagonist (you? your team? your customer?)
  2. Who is the antagonist (your rival, the economy, the marketplace?)
  3. What is the setting (past, present, future, location, environment etc.)?
  4. What has happened up to this point and what could happen that would make this a really great story?
  5. How would you like this story to end?

If it helps to start out with “once upon a time… “ then go for it but the whole idea here is to allow your imagination to run free. Stories are a safe way of exploring possibilities and they can be a profoundly motivating exercise too. Write our story or just live it out in your mind on your next long walk. See what innovation, inspiration, and idea generation comes your way from there.