When Jenn Maer first arrived at IDEO from the advertising world a decade or so ago, not many people were calling themselves storytellers. Now, as she says, “storytelling is having a moment.” Companies are incorporating it into so much of what they do, from pitching to branding, and explaining their values. But just as home cooks have a lot to learn before they can become trained chefs, there’s a lot to learn before you can master storytelling.
We spoke with Paul about what he sees as cornerstones of creative leadership, how to use storytelling to catalyze people toward action, and his no fear attitude toward delving into the void—darker more challenging topics like death and aging.
After an epictwo-yearjourney that included sailing through the Panama Canal, around the Caribbean, and crossing the Atlantic during hurricane season with her husband and 10-year-old son, Jen Massaro had a story to share. But she struggled to tell it in a way that was meaningful for her friends and colleagues. Through the process of refining her story, Jen gained a deeper understanding of what matters most in storytelling.
As a Design Director at IDEO, Jenn Maer is a creative leader, brand strategist, and storyteller. Jenn is happiest when creating stories and projects that bypass the brain’s radar and go straight to the heart. She leads IDEO U’s Storytelling for Influence course.
We sat down with Jenn to hear about her storytelling process and career as a storyteller.
Everyone in business and design is talking about storytelling these days, and this seems like a good thing: if we can replace the dreary powerpoint decks with tales that win hearts and minds, then life for everyone will be better. But before you jump on the storytelling bus, make sure you're aware of the seven deadly sins...