We love stories. Our lives are made up of them – a series of continuous, overlapping anecdotes. Whether it is fiction, biographies, poetry, news or gossip, we love to tell tales and we love to hear them. Our brains are wired to detect patterns in information and stories give us recognisable patterns. We use these to impart meaning – they help us make sense of our world and the world around us.
Founded by Sarah Palmer in 1993, Big Green Door has been a groundbreaking and innovative brand strategy consultancy for just over twenty years. The company has come a long way since those early days. Initially operating from a ground floor garage in a Paddington mews house, it consisted of Sarah, a desk, and a single lime-green cell phone. It didn’t even have a name.
It’s Monday lunchtime and I’m sat at my desk, headphones donned, lunch prepped, watching a TED talk about engineering happiness. I’m feeling inspired, moved even and eternally optimistic for the week ahead. It seems as though the very suggestion of TED evokes a certain positivity – an enthusiasm about life and its abundance of opportunity.
Storytelling is the means by which humans understand, create and re-write the world around them.
Good storytelling captures the imagination on two levels. You reel in an audience with hooks of recognition, but it takes a breakdown of expectation to maintain the audience’s attention. Loyalty to a story can only be won by granting the audience independence of imagination— the space to think for themselves. Right down to the level of a joke’s punch line, that spike of originality is the key to survival – the evolutionary ‘mutation’ that allows for advancement. On the other hand, it’s important not just to flip, but also to stick; you can’t have originality without that baseline of continuity, the canvas on which to project new forms. We love novelty, but our brains are wired for categorisation. Read More…