The Enlightened Capitalist: Every Business Tells A Story
Using EEPPSA (efficiency, effectiveness, precision, productivity, and self-awareness) to give your business's story a happy ending.
It is likely that human beings are hard-wired to create loving relationships. Creating, retelling, and sharing stories with other humans is one way of creating meaning and making connections with others. Every business or commercial enterprise also has a story and a history as well that is retold and shared to connect to employees and customers.
History is not truth, nor is it even based on facts. History is just a large collection of stories. Even where the facts are verifiable, you never get all the facts; thus, the story you are being told is a selective presentation. There are probably other facts in the very same story that you are not aware of that would change the entire flavor, scope, and purpose of what is being told. This is one of the reasons why so many cultures have less concern with historical accuracy and a greater concern for the relevance of the story, for the story is an expression and reflection of the ever-unfolding community identity.
There are hundreds of ways to create a story. There is narration, historical accounts, recitals, jokes, drama, tall-tales, parables, comedy, legends, historical events, autobiography, myths, biography, exposés, legends, journalism, confessions, scripts, anecdotes, etc.
Often, a decision needs to be made quickly — here the narrative is internal and psychological. In other stories something must be accomplished — this is built around external events that either moves the process forward or become obstacles to the journey told in the story. To be a human being by definition is to be a storyteller. A business is a vehicle by which that story is given meaning, and is carried forward to the next generation of employees and customers. Each of us also owns and is owned by a personal story that we need to tell. We each have memories of the things that have happened to us. For many of us, the only sense of self we have is the story we have created. What is your story and what is the story of your business or your place of employment?
Many people have no sense of who they are separate from the story they have created. Like an actor in a movie all they are doing is living their idea of the “wife” story, the “husband” story, the “employer” role, the employee role, reciting the “employee lines” etc. Much of what you think of as factual history is really a mix of fact and fiction filtered through your memory. Living life like this is to be a prisoner of your self-created past. For many, this is often frightening to hear. It is as if who you think you are, and what you do on your job is not really who you are and not really what you do. Both are based on what you remember as being your truth. It does not matter whether it is true or not, only that you believe that it is true.
It soon becomes clear that at some point in time you will remember things that were once forgotten. Even when you remember these events clearly, there is always the chance they might not have happened exactly as you have remembered them. Have you ever reminisced with a friend about some event, and they had a different recollection?
If you realize that life is a type of game, then you have the freedom to reinvent who you are. It is not as if you are creating a lie. Rather you are taking a look at the facts of your past from a new and perspective. What you recall probably did happen, just not exactly as you may remember it. This same event is remembered differently by others. In looking back at that event, you must realize that the memory you have of it was seen through your eyes when you were a younger person. How old were you and what were your beliefs at that time? Who were your influences?
In Enlightened business practices, it is understood that you can re-invent your story. You can re-invent the game of your life and your business and by doing so you can experience a type of freedom that you never imagined possible. Now I’m not suggesting you lie about your past. I’m recommending you meditate on what you have been, done, who you are, and what your business is about now.
Many geneticists believe that we are hard-wired to;
• Create and tell stories
• Hunger for a connection to our source — what
theologians, and physicists alike call the “First
Combine the two, and what you get is the creation and the sharing of sacred stories or myths. The word “mythology” (from the Ancient Greek word meaning “a story-telling” or legendary lore) refers to a type of sacred story, often a merging of various folklores and legends that a particular culture believes to be true. Myths often use the supernatural to interpret these.
All successful businesses have a mythology. How and why they were started; the obstacles the founder had to transcend to succeed, etc. As with many stories it does not matter if the story at the base of the myth is true or false. To the business culture within which the myth has evolved, it is usually by definition “true.” Most businesses cannot exist without some form of story since it is this “group story” that helps to make sense of the struggles that led to success. This story will describe how the business came about and the vision, ways of questioning, and the concepts that have defined the business. The myth answers these questions for it represents a collective preserved belief within the organization even if that belief has no fact as the basis of this reality. For a particular business, this myth is true even if not always factual. It is this key foundation that gives the business a reason to exist, even if the owner and the employees are loath to acknowledge that there is nothing factual there. Now often these stories originate from a historical event and at other times as a misinterpretation of some misdirected, idea. It is likely that human beings are hard-wired to believe and to have faith in something — anything including a business vision. This may include certain beliefs, whether accurate or unsupported by logic or evidence. This will be created as stories by individuals in the company, by customers and clients, and by the PR department or human resources. These stories will usually be presented as, “We survived in spite of…” or etc. The dilemma a conscious business person faces is that while recognizing intuitively that these stories are essential for being part of an organization many of these stories lead to inefficiency, ineffectiveness, poor productivity, and organization incompetence.
The origins of many business stories become obscure or completely rewritten over time. Many business stories that border on the mythical, like Sears, or Woolworths lost their focus and what was once a visionary organization collapsed from the weight of their own greed and incompetence.
In order for our businesses to remain vibrant and alive, it is important that we restate the original narrative that connects us to others and gives meaning to what we do and what we have to offer to our customers.
To read the Introductory Post in this series please click below
The Enlightened Capitalist: An Introduction To How The World Really Works
Mastering the art and science of EEPPSA (efficiency, effectiveness, precision, productivity, and self-awareness)
I’m the author: I am a game theorist and a teacher on peak performance. I am also a self-improvement coach offering advice for innovators of all levels who are dealing with obstacles and constraints in their work (and play).
I’m passionate about offering advice on creativity, innovation, inspiration, self-improvement, life lessons, mental health information, love, & movie reviews.
If you have any ideas you would like me to write about just email me at LewisCoaches@gmail.com
About my stories on Medium
Most of my Medium stories are anchored into the concept of Applied Game Theory. This idea explores how and why people make certain choices, including decisions related to their health, well-being, personal success, and self-awareness.
Researchers in game theory have won over twenty Noble Prizes. The movie A Beautiful Mind is about the life of John Nash, one of the pioneers in game theory.
Learn more about the powerful tool of game theory, for self-improvement, personal development, and strategic life skills.
Applying all of the gaming skills you have learned from the sandbox, through Rubick’s Cube, and now into video games and sports will change your life in every way, for the better.
If you have an interest in learning more about applied game theory, game-thinking, video game strategies, and gamer psychology you can begin by reading a short introduction to the basics of game theory I have presented below.
The article (a 6-minute read) also includes an in-depth video embedded in the article.
See all of my stories at — lewiscoaches.medium.com
The Source of this Story
This story was created from my seminar notes for (Harrison’s Applied Game Theory). To follow all of my extended Great Game Theory Guide postings and stories, check out the Table of Contents for the first few Medium.com postings at:
Lewis Harrison’s Great Game Theory Guide — Table of Contents
· Introduction to the On-Going Series
About the Author: Lewis Harrison, is a speaker a strategist specializing in applied game theory, strategies, decision science, and personal improvement
I am always exploring trends, innovations, areas of interest, and solutions to build new stories upon. Again, if you have any ideas you would like me to write about just email me at LewisCoaches@gmail.com