Developing a great story with which to “sell” our ideas is a facet of design work not all of us (we geek folk) are the best at pulling off; however, without a compelling and interesting story or pitch, many products and companies would not be where they are today. When it comes down to it, many successes can be attributed to a great storyteller.
Aaron Shin, senior director of the transition to products at Raytheon Company in Waltham, Mass., delivered the IESF keynote, broaching “The Art of Storytelling.”
Shin discussed how “change agents in a company move the company forward.” Believe it or not, he notes, those who are significantly skilled at or otherwise blessed with the gift of gab that help propel companies, solutions, and industries into the future. It has always been this way and will continue to be this way, he says.
As an aside, a Google search of the term “change agent” delivers myriad definitions. It’s an interesting (and quick) exercise, if you care to undertake it. Among the definitions that encapsulate my meaning are:
- A person with the personality and catalytic force to help lead a company’s lean transformation. One who leads cultural change in an organization.
- An individual from within or outside an organization who facilitates change in the organization; might be the initiator of the change effort, but not necessarily.
Sign me up! This geek wishes the above definitions were his job description, in fact. In reality, however, it seems that the geekier the professional, the more awkward the speaker. (Several episodes of current and past television series, such as “The Big Bang Theory,” prove this out. Case in point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=756jykSpzDg)
Then again, I can think of a few charismatic geek speakers I quite enjoy. For me, Michio Kaku, Ray Kurzweil, and even Mythbusters Jamie and Adam make the list.
Who makes your list?