Stories help us to organize and remember information and tie content together. Our brains are hard-wired to think and express in terms of a beginning, middle and end. It's how we understand the world.
If you, like many adults believe you lack creativity to develop an engaging storyline, try this. The next time you’re in a public setting with a friend or colleague, spend a few minutes watching the people around you. Now with your companion create a “back story” about the couple sitting at the table next to you, or the business man juggling his briefcase, coffee, and cell phone. Before long you’ll be laughing and creating fun, intriguing, and sometimes outrageous stories about complete strangers – who surprisingly, you also now feel somehow connected to.
When a story reaches our hearts, it takes hold of us, and we want to hear more. Our minds remember stories, especially stories with emotions attached, much better than they remember lists, numbers, or concepts.
Imagine that your operations department has a new process which will revolutionize the way your customers place orders with your company – reducing the time it takes to get your product to market by 25%. There are just a handful of problems that are creating some quality control issues.
You’re asked to create a training program/job aid to address those problems. You could start with flow charts, statistics, and time studies… OR you can create a Quest. Now every problem becomes a challenge to overcome, a mystery to be solved. The focus is on the goal and if the team works together and makes the necessary sacrifices – everyone will be able to achieve that goal.
Giving your team a rational argument for adapting this new process, backed up with all sorts of numbers, is liable to put them to sleep. If, on the other hand, you link your efforts to an epic adventure – destroying the aliens, beating back the zombies, or even solving the mystery… they’re far more likely to remember – and act upon what you’re saying.
This week we put the finishing touches on the story of Nick –
Founder and CEO, Sententia www.SententiaGames.com www.monicacornetti.com
A gamification speaker and designer, Monica Cornetti is rated as a #1 Gamification Guru in the World by UK-Based Leaderboarded. She is the author of the book Totally Awesome Training Activity Guide: Put Gamification to Work for You, writes The Gamification Report blog, and hosts the weekly Gamification Talk Radio program.