Tuesday, 17 February 2009

On Story Telling

One aspect of leadership is constructing stories. That is why Rudd is reiterating the "brick by brick", etc mantra. It is both a story and a rhetorical device in the manner of Churchill's "we will fight team on the beaches". The easiest "change" stories to construct are the ones which make use of those pre-existing frames (rather than trying to break them as the full "new paradigm" response would).

There is an idea somewhere out there that goes back to the Greeks use of Rhetoric which uses the idea of talking in threes. This rhetorical device is used everywhere, from Senate speeches in Ancient Greece to sermons, to political speeches. I think it was Socrates, that great defender of the oral tradition against the vile written word ( new technology) that first discussed this.

However the other thought that springs to mind is to read one of these books. Don't Think of an Elephant is relevent here.

In the absence of the book, here is a web page which discusses the ideas raised by it. Anyone interested in how to frame an idea so it changes minds should be interested in this.

Julia Thornton

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