Swift but sensitive: storytelling in uncertain times

One thing about the uncertainty triggered by COVID-19, is that people and organisations are, in certain cases, acting faster and more inclusively than ever before.

Centrelink has implemented economic and technological changes previously considered impossible. Workplaces have jumped layers of bureaucracy to facilitate working from home. Our government is asking us to “work it out together”.

In a webinar called “Innovation in Uncertainty” I spoke about storytelling in turbulent times. The video is set to begin at my introduction, but the other speakers, including Dianna Somerville on adaptations by international hubs and Tori Kopke on running online events, have useful information to share.

Our audience were those from Australia’s regional innovation hubs, but it’s a useful conversation for people who hold communities together.

Andrew Outhwaite, who has scaled a heap of social ventures, spearheaded the event. Within 3 days Chad Renando and Dianna Somerville had helped him pull together a panel, sector survey and 200 participants. With the support of Spacecubed’s Kali Norman, the webinar has turned into a regular thing, likely morphing as the needs of this community change. The swift but sensitive event was the very embodiment of our overarching theme: right now, people who lead communities need to listen.

We need to act swiftly, without barging in blind.

Likewise with storytelling. If you are storytelling for your business, don’t push a story of optimism if people in your community are scared or anxious.

Listen first, for the stories that are already there. Tune in to the deeper narrative of the meaning we are making about our country and our place.

Then, when you have listened enough to be ready to speak: there are three things you should pay attention to, which you’ll hear when you watch the video.

Published by rachaelwest

Strategic Speaker Coach | Founder | Engineer

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