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Acorders Storytelling for Vision

Anyone following the conversation on the Great Resignation or Reset 2021, likely noted the impact that quality messaging had on retention. In many instances we saw, a leader's ability to coherently disseminate vision & strategy to aligning goals & objectives, pairing with flexibility and emotional intelligence, all differentiating outcomes for business. So what happened? Did the experience of a global pandemic suddenly wake people up to their intrinsic motivators? I engaged a number of conversations last year where elevated consciousness was touted as a driving factor. The optimist in me likes that narrative. It is uplifting and offers an alternative version to reality, against the backdrop of vitriol and division we are constantly fed in the media. But, the realist in me also can't shake the experience I had in the Summer of 2020.

At the kick-off to 2020, I was preparing to graduate from the University of Texas', McCombs School of Business with my M.S. in Technology Commercialization. I had come into the program with some experience in long range planning and strategy. Also, I had a few network connections and one mentor that were Futurist. While in school, the topic of long range planning (30-years out) did come up. It sparked a lot of discourse with people split on its value and relevance. I recall fiduciary responsibly to share holders and investors being a basis of logic for many arguing against it.

Then in December of 2019, our class went to Singapore and I was introduced to CEO's and other business leaders who really thought differently about this. Now I should tell you that years before, I had been indoctrinated into the U.S. Military planning process. The methodology developed agile Officers that could mentally canvas out to a far look ahead and then quickly snap back and reflex to current world situations. So I found myself really connecting with the style and approach to business I found in Singapore. My class then returned from our trip and the pandemic broke-out in the U.S., immediately after.

Coming fresh out of that experience and responding to my own sense of discombobulation, I decided to focus more on the Futurist body of work. I eagerly signed-up for an online learning experience which promised to connect me with a diverse group of people around the world. The course would offer an introduction into world constructing for long range scenario planning and strategy development. It attracted a variety of people from backgrounds in economics, wealth management, policy making and business. I joined that class really looking forward to interacting with bright and talented minds. What I ended up finding was a deeply concerning observation.

Everything in the course had flowed relatively smooth at first. The facilitator had posted some great papers ahead of time to provide a basis of common understanding for everyone. He cited Royal Dutch Shell's methodologies from two Harvard Business Review journals, published 30-years apart. I really felt like he had done a remarkable job in prepping everyone for what to expect. He led us through depicting four world scenarios with varying conditions and all of that had gone well. Then, he turned and asked for spontaneous collaboration on a very small creative task and I watched as all out rebellion took place.

The ask was to simply come up with headlines, social media post and potential conspiracy theories that we could imagine for the four future worlds we constructed. I saw the chat box start lighting up with onerous complaints and some really outright mean comments for the guy leading the class. I was so struck by this. It made me really curious what was going on. The program was ran by an education start-up that was running a gifting model, so most people hadn't even paid for the experience. Why did everyone get so uncivil, so fast with the guide? Why was a simple ask to spontaneously collaborate on a really small creative task met with such deride? There was nothing at stake, no loss of position or social status would result. It got me thinking about other similar observances I had made on the state of people and technology.

I asked myself, are we losing our ability to simply work together? I wondered, what would a world look like if we could no longer collaborate on complex problems and create viable solutions? This made me turn to a friend from school. We were both very curious and concerned. We agreed it warranted conducting a design experiment. So, we endeavored to create a workshop experience that would allow us to examine people reacting with similar creative prompts. The Acorders MVP was designed after compiling findings from the social campaign and conducting additional voice of customer interviews. Today as a start-up project, we embark to reach our target audience and gain members for our online community. We invite you to follow our conversations on the value of storytelling and MVP development. Everyone has a story, Acorders wants yours to have impact. Contact us to hear more.

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3 commentaires

Charlie Grantham
Charlie Grantham
10 févr. 2022

Who ran the futures course you took? Do you know of Andy Hines at the U. of Houston and his program?


Veronica Correa
Veronica Correa
09 févr. 2022



Intriguing like a new adventure on a horizon never before seen nor experienced.

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