Stories & Imagination, by Donna Clegg

There are two major and powerful themes I have taken away at the latest Bootcamp and Mentoring sessions at the Marketing Academy. These two themes are that ‘Stories’ and ‘Imagination’ are a powerful combination for success.

Trendwatcher Adjiedj Bakas had the room in thrall with some wonderful stories about what our future might look like. One possibility was that manufacturing would return to the western world as we would all have 3D printers in our homes allowing us to print our own mobile phones in whatever design we wanted. Imagine that.

Another speaker on the day was Major General Arthur Denaro who told stories about his experiences whilst serving his country. What I liked was that he was a leader that saw the importance of discipline but also how important it was to combine that with building relationships and trust – he knew every one of his troops by first name.

Matt Hart from Industry Approved filled the room with his imaginative explanation for how we can all be creative if we put our minds to it – literally. He explained that most of the time we are probably in a state of mind named ‘Beta’ where we are going to meetings, writing to do lists, making decisions etc. However, an ‘Alpha’ state of mind was the one where we are most likely to be creative, as this is when we are relaxed. This is where you could be going for a run, listening to music, flicking through your favourite magazine or just relaxing. The thought or lesson here is that we should strive to champion a more creative culture within our organisations by taking days out to be Alphas instead of running around like headless Betas.

The most recent mentoring session I had was with Ellen Marzell whose background is in sports sponsorship and business development. As I am equally passionate about sports I was interested to hear Ellen’s story. She explained that her career started out with her passion for figure skating. This involvement in sports has given her a sense of great discipline and achievement, as well as a longstanding career. Hence, she has not been afraid to take calculated risks and be edgy to be at the top of her game. 

The theme or lesson for me is that ‘stories’ and ‘imagination’ are powerful tools for people to remember you and/or your business/products. Those with the stories and imagination to connect with their audiences will be the most successful.

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