A few years ago a friend and I went backpacking in the pristine wilderness of Denali National Park in Alaska. We bought every piece of equipment known to man to fight off Grizzly Bears, like pepper spray, bells etc. Before we set off, the rangers made us watch a video in which we were instructed to simply wave our arms in the air in the unlikely event we encountered a bear. My friend and I laughed so hard at the actors in the video and made fun of the idea that something so ridiculous would scare away a bear.
The very next day we set off and had barely turned the corner when there right in front of us was a giant grizzly bear. My knees started knocking and my friend shouted ‘Hand me the pepper spray!’. And for some reason I replied ‘No just wave your arms in the air, and we both did. To our shock the bear ambled off. When we returned we told the ranger about our encounter and he replied ‘I am so glad you did not use the pepper spray as that just makes the bears mad. Either that or you accidentally spray yourself!’.
I am sharing this with you because it reminds me of our daily choices with technology. Of course we can choose the ‘bells whistles’ version for our customers but sometimes just like waving your arms can scare off a grown grizzly, all that is needed is the simple and effective version.
This story was shared by Bill Arconati, of Atlassian. It ticks all the boxes for a great business story. It hooks us in immediately, is engaging, funny, purposeful and marries story and message beautifully. Paradoxically in ‘Business Storytelling’ personal stories are the most powerful. Would love to hear your thoughts.
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