Tag Archives: Jonathan Gottschall

Live from #TMRE14: Wired for Story

Jonathan Gottschall is a scholar and today at TMRE 2014, he took us through research from his latest book, The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human.

Dreams are night stories, stories are the fabric of our social setting. Gossip is the preferred genre of human stories. We have restless minds.

Story Solutions to Key Solutions:

How do you seize and hold attention?
How do you use it to persuade & influence other people?

Average duration of daydreams is 14 seconds, we have about 2,000 per day.

The neuroscience of the brain on story, less still, less passive, the brain experiences empathetic sensation right along with the story. Much like a reaction to a horror movie, your brain processes stories as real.

“Art is an infection” – Tolstoy

Story shapes us, it’s not mindless, it has the ability to change the person consuming the story. Story changes behavior by changing brain chemistry.

None of this works unless the story is good. The story has to acchive narrative transformation. Your audience has to lose itself.

Story’s Universal Grammar:

Character +
Predicament +
Attempted Solution +

Story’s Function:

A story is a problem solution narrative that carries a deeper message, otherwise it’s just a hollow, meaningless vehicle. It expresses values, beliefs, and a bigger meaning.

We love stories, unlike other messaging, we crave good stories the same way we crave good food.

A well told story cuts through the buzz of distraction, settles our restless minds, and holds us rapt.

No other communication form can do this.

Story is emotional. They can blow your mind and change your mind. Stories are more persuasive than strategies based on argument and evidence.

Story is sticky, if you want an idea to enter into the universe and lodge there it’s best to weave it into a story.

Story is infectious, they demand to be retold. As a result the ideas and values in the stories spread virally through social networks.

We need stories in the best and worst of times. We are storytelling animals, stories offer hope and solace.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Valerie RussoFormerly a senior copy editor at Thomson Reuters, a research editor at AOL,  and a senior web publicist at Hachette Book GroupValerie M. Russo is editor at large of The Front End of Innovation BlogThe Market Research Event BlogThe World Future Trends Tumblr, the Digital Impact Blog, and also blogs at Literanista.net. She is the innovation lead and senior social media strategist for the Marketing and Business Strategy Division of the Institute for International Research, an Informa LLC., and her poetry was published in Regrets Only on sale at the MOMA Gift Shop. Her background is in Anthropology and English Literature. You can reach her at vrusso@iirusa.com or @Literanista.

At the Intersection of Art & Science: A TMRE 2014 Book List

Stories are a catalyst for action.

Market research, data sciences, consumer insights and marketing overall, has never seen such dramatic and rapid transformation’ and the stakes have never been higher. The output and value of our entire industry is in flux.

We’ve curated this list of 8 powerful books in advance of our upcoming MR event to help you open your mind to new ideas and truly become a catalyst for disruption, growth and impact beyond measure.

The TMRE 2014 Book List: 


1. It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by Danah Boyd  


Boyd’s conclusions are essential reading not only for parents, teachers, and others who work with teens but also for anyone interested in the impact of emerging technologies on society, culture, and commerce in years to come. In this eye-opening book, youth culture and technology expert danah boyd uncovers some of the major myths regarding teens’ use of social media. She explores tropes about identity, privacy, safety, danger, and bullying. Ultimately, boyd argues that society fails young people when paternalism and protectionism hinder teenagers’ ability to become informed, thoughtful, and engaged citizens through their online interactions. Yet despite an environment of rampant fear-mongering, boyd finds that teens often find ways to engage and to develop a sense of identity.

2. Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd by Youngme Moon  


Different shows how to succeed in a world where conformity reigns’but exceptions rule. Youngme Moon provides a highly original perspective on what it means to offer something that is meaningfully different in a manner that is both fundamental and comprehensive.




3. The Power of Habit By Charles Duhigg

In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.

4. The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall 


Stories help us navigate life’s complex social problems just as flight simulators prepare pilots for difficult situations. Storytelling has evolved, like other behaviors, to ensure our survival. Stories can also change the world for the better. Most successful stories are moral, they teach us how to live, whether explicitly or implicitly, and bind us together around common values. We know we are master shapers of story. The Storytelling Animal finally reveals how stories shape us.

5. Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek 


Our biology hasn’t changed in fifty thousand years, but our environment certainly has. Today’s workplaces tend to be full of cynicism, paranoia and self-interest. But the best organizations foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what Sinek calls a Circle of Safety that separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside. The Circle of Safety leads to stable, adaptive, confident teams, where everyone feels they belong and all energies are devoted to facing the common enemy and seizing big opportunities. 



6. Absolute Value: What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information By Itamar Simonson, Emanuel Rosen 


What influences customers in this new age? The authors identify the old-school marketing concepts that need to change and explain how a company should design its communication strategy, market research program, and segmentation strategy in the new environment. 

7. Exploiting Chaos: 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change By Jeremy Gutsche


Jeremy Gutsche’s book about 150 ways to spark innovation during times of change, includes these key lessons :


1) STRATEGY – Turn chaos into opportunity
2) CULTURE – Create a culture of innovation
3) TRENDS – Filter through all the noise
4) INNOVATION – Increase your odds

5) MARKETING – Infectiously market your ideas


Exploiting CHAOS: Book on How to Spark Innovation from Jeremy Gutsche / Trend Hunter



8. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action By Simon Sinek 

There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it. Start With Why is for those who want to  inspire others and for those who want to find someone to inspire them.



Editor’s note:

The noted thought leaders above will share more of their experiences and ideas to explore at the Market Research Event. We hope you can join us.