What A Doughboy Knows That We Don’t

It’s the beginning of a new semester. And Bob is at it again. Each semester, Bob shows a video to his international students. It’s this one.  Behold the Doughboy effect “Does this make you hungry?” he asks them. They laugh nervously and answer, “No.” “Does this make you think of family or getting together […]

Empathy: The Overlooked Secret

By Mark Clevenger Mark Clevenger is the President of Clevenger Associates, a marketing research consultancy specializing in human behavior. Empathy is for practical people The question: “Knowing our customers is important, but isn’t empathy getting into la-la land?” Mangers worry. How can we improve efficiency? Detours are the enemy. Stay focused. Find the quickest path […]

Empathy, Experiences, Stories, Oh My

Joe is walking down a street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out. A doctor passes by, and Joe shouts up “Hey you! Can you help me out?” Sympathy The doctor writes him a prescription, throws it down the hole, and moves on. Then a priest comes […]

To The Truth Tellers

Truth was naked and cold. Destitute. She had been turned away from every door in the village. Her nakedness frightened the people When Parable found her, she was huddled in a corner, shivering, and hungry. Taking pity on her, Parable gathered her up and took her home. There she dressed Truth in story, warmed her, […]

Visual Stories My Old Friend Tells Me

We have met at least once a month for the last 22 years, my old friend and me. And every time I visit I see something I didn’t see before. Something new from my old friend to me. For 22 years Every time we’re together I feel inspired. That’s my old friend’s gift to me. […]

More Nothing: What Visual Storytelling Needs

Heather Anthony is an artist. She creates family portraits. To begin, she asks the family to send her photographs of each person. She asks them about the clothes they like to wear.  And the fashion story they tell. Creating context From those contextual elements, she draws a digital sketch of the group for approval. Only […]

From Measly Messages To Mighty Moments

What Now? Designing Action Into Experiences

Janet stood facing the huge, metal monster. Shaking. In sheer freight. It was just an MRI scan, but fear of the unknown overtook her. She sat shaking on the side of the machine and then lay down. A harrowing experience While she was lying there, still waiting for the procedure to begin, she noticed a […]

What’s an experience?

Drinking beer and watching ESPN. Chris Barbie and Don Kamentz found themselves sitting in a bar in Houston. Just chillin. Trying to recuperate from another 14-hour day running their start-up charter school. Wach ya’ lookin’ at On the screen in front of them, ESPN was covering National Signing Day. That’s the day high school football […]

We’re Asking The Wrong Question

Whether we like it or not, our future depends upon the questions we ask. Whether we accept it or not, the wrong question can take us in the wrong direction. Or in an old direction that wanders about and wastes our time and effort and creativity. Alice stood at the crossroads Before her floated the […]