Early warning signs, Stories for storytelling


A few weeks ago presenting a key note at a conference we had the pleasure of listening to this story shared by James Lindsay, Senior Manager – Technology.

A few years ago when I was living with my family in Canada, we had friends over one evening for a Thanksgiving dinner.  It was a lovely evening, we had the fire going in the fire place, lots of good food, red wine and   warning signconversations.  After our friends left we cleaned up and went to bed, tired but happy.  At about 2 am I was woken up by the smoke alarm in our house going off.  I sprung out off bed and went around the house carefully checking, the fire place, the basement, the whole house but could find no evidence at all of any fire.  The alarm eventually turned itself off and I went back to bed.  But about 15 minutes later, the alarm went off again.  I couldn’t believe it, and went through the whole process again carefully checking the house from top to bottom and there was no fire to be seen anywhere.  I thought the alarm might be faulty and did not want to be disturbed again, so turned it off completely.  Later that night I was woken by a thick cloud of smoke and barely made it out off the house, with my wife and son.  I even had to rush back in to get my dog.  We were standing outside our house which was engulfed in thick smoke, waiting for the fire engine when a huge flame erupted, exactly from in front of the fire place.  The fire engines did arrive and put out the fire and we found out that builders had been installing faulty fire places in new homes in our area to save money.   I also found out later that my family and I had escaped the Grim Reaper by a few minutes.  In life we often get early warning signs that serve a purpose. If we took notice of these signs and did something, imagine the difference we could make.

Imagine using this story to influence and inspire a client to take action with early warning signs. Sometimes data alone doesn’t cut it, but a story  combined with data will often persuade & inspire.
Thanks James for sharing this.
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