There’s a new and potentially interesting paper, published in yet another locked-down academic journal, entitled “Do the stories they tell get them the money they need? The role of entrepreneurial narratives in resource acquisition”. Admittedly, this might not get everyone’s crankshaft turning. (From orgtheory). It got my attention because I noticed a related article in the current issue of HBR, “The Four Truths of the Storyteller”, about the use of story telling, i.e. narrative, in business.

If this means that the business world will see a greater focus on communicating through narrative rather than data saturated PowerPoint slides, then this is a welcome highlight indeed. Data that tells a story is a nice goal, but communicating effectively with data is only one step in telling a story.

The importance of narrative is that its the intuitive way in which we learn information. Taleb stressed our need to turn information into a story in discussing hindsight bias. But the narrative doesn’t have to be flawed like a biased history. The mind has to place information using dimensions of who, what, where, and when in order to provide context to store, assess, and repeat.