The Importance of Storytelling

As it is with collaboration, storytelling is an integral part of design thinking. When we talk about storytelling, it's about using this skill as a vehicle for change: It is a way to help connect meaning to information, to create connections between yourself and your audience, to shift people's thinking by tapping into empathy and emotion, and to make abstract concepts real and tangible. By giving your audience something to relate to, you can motivate and inspire them in wholly new ways. Storytelling plays a key role in enabling change through design thinking, which is why we have built it into the TD4Ed platform.

The Ariel Group, a training and coaching firm that uses storytelling in business, list several types of stories you can tell to inspire change:

  1. Share Yourself: Share moments that made you who you are, or that clarified your values so that others understand your perspective.
  2. Share your Team or Organization: Share the values of your team, organization, or community. What makes up your DNA?
  3. Teach a Lesson: How you learned something through failure or success; How you overcame resistance to change.
  4. Provoke Change: Create dissatisfaction with present; Share dangerous mistakes or assumptions; Establish the case for change; Create a vision for future state.
  5. Change Perspective: Allow your audience to see a problem through a different lens, and change the emotional climate.
  6. Build a Relationship: Sharing personal stories with different stakeholders can highlight the common ground between you.

Your team will have the opportunity to record your work online after completing each phase, which will be saved to your team's Project page. These prompts to enter your work are also meant to help your team craft the overarching story of your project. They help your team to create a compelling narrative that you can use to foster support from others, such as your administration team, your colleagues, and even other TD4Ed teams!

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”
- Rudyard Kipling, on the importance of storytelling for connecting information to meaning

“If you want to get anything done in an organization, you need to know how to use story to move people.”
- Stephen Denning, on the importance of storytelling for change, innovation, and leadership

“The shortest distance between two people is a story.”
- Unknown, on the importance of storytelling for building connection and empathy

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