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  • 🌟 The Innovation Narrative 🌟

    Let's delve into the concept of the Innovation Narrative. "Innovation" entails creating novel solutions that add value, while a "narrative" refers to a cohesive system of stories. An innovation narrative represents a structured collection of stories that facilitate innovation. According to Caroline Bartel and Raghu Garud, “Innovation narratives are potent tools for translating ideas throughout an organization, making them easily understandable.” An innovation narrative serves as a North Star for organizations, providing a foundation of truth and direction as teams endeavor to navigate uncharted territories. It not only elucidates the purpose behind innovation but also establishes a common lexicon for teams engaged in collaborative creation. Shared language significantly streamlines the innovation process. Within an innovation narrative, individual stories recount endeavors, achievements, and setbacks, fostering a culture of learning, experimentation, and fervor. Models play are essential to innovation narratives, offering visual representations of conceptual frameworks, logic sequences, or even prototypes. These models equip the audience with contextual understanding and detailed insights, anchoring them within the narrative. Effectively embraced, an innovation narrative employs strategic communications to synchronize innovation endeavors and provide clarity amidst uncertainty. Without communications between individuals and teams, innovation dies on the vine. What truly resonates for me about an innovation narrative is its capacity to imbue both individuals and organizations with profound meaning. As Ilkka Tuomi writes, “Innovation...is more about creating meaning than it is about creating artifacts.” As a storytelling species, we find meaning most often through stories. For organizations that seek to innovate their way to a better and brighter future, it's innovation narratives that provide the meaning and means to make their efforts a success.

  • What Comes After Consumer Health?

    March Madness may be the time of year for college basketball, but this March has also been a remarkable feat of consumer healthcare wins: Opill, the first birth control pill available with no prescription required GLP-1 marketplaces expand, notably with Lilly Direct and Amazon Pharmacy’s alliance FDA approves of Dexcom’s Stelo, the first GCM that is available without a prescription Healthcare is becoming easier, more convenient and more cost efficient. But what comes next? Enter the era of Health Fans. The very best healthcare experiences, interactions and products will not just be convenient and easy. They will be enjoyable. They will be engaging and empowering. They will be fun and worth repeating. They will be fan-worthy. Inspired by fandoms from entertainment, plus leaning into immersive technologies that make healthcare seamless, Health Fans will lead healthcare, with a focus on creating healthcare experiences that are worth celebrating. We already see this with Health Fans on social media and other creator platforms, sharing stories of their experiences living with health conditions, their quests to seek better solutions, and designing healthy lives that work for them. Just as movie releases or play off games bring fans together, Health Fans are congregating in comment sections, on forums and in person as they share and celebrate their health wins. These communities are sources of care, connection and innovation, proving vital to better health. And taking some cues from Hollywood, health tech is leveraging our love of great entertainment to deliver therapies, interventions and care that feel less like medicine and more like play. As we celebrate recent achievements in consumer healthcare, let’s seize the opportunity to embrace the transformative power of Health Fans. Together, we can shape a healthcare landscape that is not only effective, efficient and safe, but also fan-worthy.

  • 🌟 Story Maturity 🌟

    Within organizations, there exist four distinct levels of story maturity: Disorder: At this level, both you and your team are adrift, lacking a shared mental framework, common language, or cohesive communication. It feels as though you're lost in nonsense. History: Progressing from disorder, you begin to piece together past achievements and data. This retrospective examination allows you to construct stories rooted in your team's collective experiences and accomplishments. Brand: As your organization evolves, you reach a stage where your current activities are recognizable, both to yourselves and your customers. This phase is characterized by coherent storytelling in marketing, content creation, and external communications, presenting a clear picture of your present identity and activities. Narrative: The highest level of story maturity involves looking towards the future with a clear vision. Despite the uncertainty that lies ahead, your team understands the trajectory it wishes to pursue and actively shapes forthcoming opportunities to realize this vision. Initiatives such as research and development, strategic planning, internal communications, and company manifestos exemplify this forward-looking approach. How would you define your organization or team's story maturity? Do you find yourself struggling to move past your history? Are you lost in disorder? Or do you have a sense of how you want to build the future?

  • 🌟The Design Thinking Story🌟

    We often hear of the importance of using storytelling in our design practice. In a field that loves a good diagram, I've found it helpful to map my favorite storytelling device: The Story Circle (a simplification of the Hero's Journey) with the stages of Design Thinking. Like the Hero's Journey, design requires us to overcome an obstacle (the problem), enter the unknown. (the reframe), find what we need (solution) and navigate the effects (impact). When I approach a design opportunity, I honestly see layers of story. And I will map the stories on this diagram to help identify shared themes, desires and opportunities for meaning making. This diagram was inspired by Sara Beckman and Michael Barry's 2009 paper on Design and Innovation through Storytelling Does this diagram resonate with you? How could you use it to advance your design and storytelling practice?

  • 🌟 Narrative Strategist 🌟

    Ever wondered what a Narrative Strategist does? I'm here to shed some light! As a Narrative Strategist, I specialize in making complexity compelling. I dive deep into the essence of organizations, identifying their unique stories and language to craft cohesive strategies. Think of me as a navigator through the unknown, using narrative to provide clarity and direction. But let's get real - I know it can sound a bit abstract. So, in simple terms, I use storytelling to drive results. Whether it's achieving goals or fostering connections, I harness the power of narrative to make it happen. Now, imagine your organization as a tangled web of tasks, culture, and data, lacking a clear sense of purpose. That's where I come in. As a Narrative Strategist, I untangle the mess and weave it into a meaningful narrative, providing both individuals and organizations with guidance and purpose. Sure, it might sound a bit fluffy, but in times of great disruption, finding meaning is more crucial than ever. Are you part of an organization, movement, or community? Do you know your narrative? Let's embark on this journey together and make the ineffable irresistible with narrative strategy.

  • An Ode to Innovation

    From the glitz of Hollywood to the heart of healthcare innovation, my journey was anything but conventional. I never anticipated venturing into the world of innovation. Frankly, the term “innovation” seemed like a cliché, overused and devoid of substance. As a Hollywood producer, my focus was on storytelling, not tech jargon aimed at impressing Wall Street. Yet, fate had other plans for me. Enter innovation leader, Jennifer Kenny. Under her guidance, my perception shifted. Innovation wasn’t just a buzzword; it was a catalyst for change, offering boundless opportunities for problem-solving and growth. As a millennial grappling with the chaos of our polycrisis world, innovation provided a glimmer of hope and empowerment — a chance to rewrite the narrative of despair into one of possibility. My journey began in the world of entertainment, producing social impact films like The Hunting Ground. This documentary not only earned accolades (including an Oscar nomination) but ignited a movement, challenging societal norms and policies surrounding sexual violence. It was here that I witnessed the power of storytelling to effect change, sparking a realization that narratives could drive innovation beyond the screen. Inspired by this revelation, I embarked on a new chapter: healthcare innovation. Armed with little more than my storytelling instincts, I launched a healthcare startup, driven by a simple question: “What if Disney did healthcare?” Then, the pandemic struck, turning the world on its head. In the chaos, my background proved unexpectedly valuable as I found myself advising healthcare companies, leveraging narrative-driven innovation to navigate uncharted waters. What became evident was the untapped potential of narrative in healthcare. User-generated content was reshaping the landscape, centering individuals as they shared their own health journeys. From TikTok CPAP reviews to YouTube colostomy fashion, a new narrative of self-enabled healthcare was emerging. Yet healthcare leaders struggled to harness this narrative, craving guidance in making sense of the innovation frenzy. Here, I found my calling. Collaborating with healthcare leaders, I crafted narratives that not only inspired but guided innovation at every level of their organizations. These narratives became the compass, steering them towards meaningful change and industry-shaping innovations. Innovation isn’t just about products or technologies; it’s about storytelling — the power to inspire, unite, and drive change. My journey from skeptic to advocate taught me that innovation is within reach for anyone with a story to tell and a vision to share. So, I invite you to join me in rewriting the narrative of innovation, one story at a time. Ari Mostov is a healthcare narrative strategist. She is committed to transforming imagination into reality and using innovation to scale healing. Learn more at www.wellplay.world

  • 🌟Strategic Communications🌟

    Whenever I encounter the word "strategic," I often find myself questioning its true relevance. Can communications truly be strategic, or is it just another buzzword? Yet, my perspective shifted when I began collaborating with large organizations—those with 10,000+ employees. It became apparent that our communication efforts needed to do more than daily business support. In times of uncertainty (which are more frequent than we care to admit) strategic communications become essential in shaping meaning and providing clarity for both internal and external stakeholders. Whether an organization is navigating growth or facing disruption, knowing what, how, and when to communicate is paramount. When setting new objectives, the way we communicate them across the organization becomes a strategy in itself—requiring careful forethought and design. Consider this: if the objective is to increase sales by 20%, how do you communicate this goal to the engineering team versus the sales team? What message resonates with directors versus individual contributors? Stakeholder communications are far from straightforward emails; they demand tailored approaches to ensure understanding and buy-in. A truly effective organization understands the importance of soliciting input from its stakeholders. Communication is not a one-way street; it's a dynamic feedback loop. Great strategic communications continuously adjust outputs based on inputs, fostering engagement and alignment across the board. Strategic communications are essential to organizational success. By recognizing the intricacies of communication and embracing a feedback-driven approach, organizations can navigate challenges with clarity and purpose. It's time we view communications not just as a means of conveying information, but as a strategic imperative for achieving our goals. Ask youself: what role does communication play in your strategy? Do you find it challenging to communicate your objectives to multiple stakeholders? How could strategic communications serve you as you launch your next initative?

  • 🌟 Narrative Bible🌟

    When I produced TV, we had a show bible. It was a working document that included all the story information we needed to know about the show, the characters, the episodes and seasons. It was our source of truth, ensuring that the new episodes we created aligned with everything we've created before. When I started working with organizations, I realized how vital it was for the teams to have a source of truth -- their own bible. This was especially true when it came to innovation. If the North Star Narrative is the compass for your organization, then the Narrative Bible is the turn-by-turn instructions you need to get to your destination. For organizations, the Narrative Bible is specifically designed around strategic communications. It provides the language and models to best communicate for each group of stakeholders -- enabling engagement, alignment and mobilization. One of my favorite parts of creating a Narrative Bible is tailoring the messaging for different stakeholders. The messaging you use with R&D is going to be different than the message you use with investors, product or regulatory, but they still need to come from the one source of truth. Ask yourself, what's your organization's or team's source of truth? Are you able to communicate it effectively for all stakeholders?

  • 🌟 Narrative Strategy 🌟

    What is "Narrative Strategy"? Narrative is a system of stories, while strategy is the planning and execution of actions or policy to reach specific aims. Combine these two concepts, and you have 'Narrative Strategy' – the art and science of storytelling to achieve desired outcomes. Here's the intriguing part: Narrative Strategy possesses the remarkable ability to align large organizations. In these complex settings, individuals often grapple with understanding their purpose and direction within the broader context. They don’t know what story they’re in and where they are heading. When an organization embraces Narrative Strategy, something magical happens. Its language, culture, and functions all converge around a shared "North Star Narrative." This North Star Narrative is like the score of a symphony, enabling each individual to find their place within the composition. Much like a music composer creates a score for an orchestra, I work with organizations to craft their North Star Narrative. Together, we harmonize their unique stories into a powerful symphony of success. More about Narrative Strategy HBR Your Strategy Needs a Story HBR Strategic Stories: How 3M is Rewriting Business Planning

  • 🌟 North Star Narrative 🌟

    In Mongolian mythology, the North Star is revered as the steadfast peg that anchors our world. Ancient explorers depended on this celestial compass for guidance as they ventured into the unknown. Today, organizations can also harness the power of the North Star to navigate change and uncertainty. Allow me to introduce the North Star Narrative 💫 The North Star Narrative provides compelling and inspiring prose, reshaping your organization's vision, mission, and values into a clear purpose and unwavering intent. Drawing from Aristotle's timeless rhetoric – ethos for 'credibility,' pathos for 'emotion,' and logos for 'logic' – the North Star Narrative becomes your guiding compass. It empowers every member of your organization to identify their current position, chart their future course, and comprehend the 'why' behind it all. Even as landscapes shift and obstacles arise, your organization will rely on its North Star Narrative to illuminate the path through disruption. Embrace the North Star Narrative, and let it be your guiding force through change and innovation. Read more on North Star Narratives: WEF Strategic Narrative: what it is and how it can help your company find meaning HBR Every Company Needs a Narrative Deloitte Setting the north star: staying focused on on track

  • 🌟 Story versus Narrative 🌟

    Often, we use the words "story" and "narrative" interchangeably, but they are distinct concepts. Let's explore story versus narrative. A story is like history, with a clear beginning, middle, and end. It's a series of events that have already occurred, and while there can be stories happening in the present, the essence of "storytelling" lies in sharing events with identifiable timelines. Narrative, on the other hand, lacks a predetermined ending. It encompasses both the present and the future, with the future yet to unfold. Narratives are continually evolving and perpetuated, shaped by the stories we tell. But here's the fascinating part: a narrative is a system of stories. Imagine a forest composed of many trees—each story is a tree, a unit contributing to the larger narrative. When you're within the forest of narrative, you're surrounded by countless stories, each playing a unique role. Stepping outside, you gain perspective on the overarching narrative that encompasses them all, like viewing the entire forest from a distance. 🌳✨ As Spock once said, "One man cannot summon the future." To which Captain Kirk replied, "But one man can change the present." This reminds us that within the vast systems of narrative, our actions in the present can shape the unfolding future. 🚀🌍 Consider, how do the stories we tell create our future? What narrative(s) are we perpetuating?

  • From Hero's Journey to Story Circle

    From timeless heroes like Luke Skywalker, to reimagined heroines like Barbie, Hollywood has long relied on a The Hero's Journey to create blockbusters. Yet applying this storytelling framework successfully can be challenging...especially outside of Hollywood. What if your organization's storytelling was as engaging and powerful as Hollywood's biggest hits? This is where The Story Circle enters the scene, a practical storytelling tool designed by seasoned TV writer-producer Dan Harmon ( 'Community', 'Rick & Morty'). The Story Circle offers a streamlined approach to storytelling applicable across various contexts--- including healthcare(!) If you're seeking a straightforward method for crafting compelling stories, consider applying your data to The Story Circle framework. Hollywood-style storytelling isn't limited to the entertainment industry. It can be used to mobilize your team, scale innovation, and create a healthier world. In the words of Star Trek's Captain Kirk , “Our species can only survive if we have obstacles to overcome. You remove those obstacles. Without them to strengthen us, we will weaken and die.” I invite you to explore The Story Circle as a tool to overcome your storytelling obstacles and see what a little Hollywood magic can do for healthcare.

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