John Maeda is a Japanese-American graphic designer, computer scientist, academic, and author of Redesigning Leadership.
A leader doesn’t start with storytelling, they start with storylistening.
Leaders bridge the past and the future and the present. (…) We don’t like change. But a great story from a leader can bring people long that path. This is how it was. And this is how it is.
When I think about the problem of working with organizations, audiences, teams I see their arrows in their heads and all going different directions because they have their own staff to take care of. A leader is trying to move everyone’s arrow and generally the same direction. And the way they do that is they talk about what North Pole is, North Star is. What’s the story that gets everyone’s arrow to point the same direction.
Design tends to mean that you’re not taking the linear path. We all love the linear path. It makes sense. It’s the lowest path to risk. But when designers are freed to accept risk, do some things, experiment, out of the comfort zone, they expand their imagination, and they find the way back to the problem.
Leading as a kind of making, as a creative problem.
What’s the future of storytelling? It has a lot more to do with listening than telling.