The Alchemy of Narrative

8+ [Ed. note: I’m often asked what authors have influenced me, or who they can read
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Ian VanReepinghen
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Ian VanReepinghen

Not as public and impactful but I’ve worked in corporate positions for more than a decade and I have seen the same process occur with respect to strategy and performance; changing of metrics to look at; seeing subtle “winds” changing in executive meetings because of what one senior person said or didn’t approve. Even the attendance of a higher executive at a run-of-the-mill operational meeting. I’ve also worked with a smaller brand within a larger context that didn’t manage the narrative about them at all, it had no missionary for a while and very weak and useless one for a while and it was such a super sad situation — as if in the negative feedback loop that Soros discusses; in “reality” this smaller division is insignificant, poor-performing, has no leadership, is a “dud”; it always struck me from the beginning why no one just picked up and changed the narrative, no one changed the metric from revenue to “new customers” or “brand awareness” or “product views” I mean hell pick anything!– it seems easy with a small brand, just manage the higher ups and your teams to look at something else besides the bad sales figures but true you need a Missionary!

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Demonetized
Member
Demonetized

So true. It’s a fractal! This is (unsurprisingly) remarkably similar to what goes on in Investment Committee meetings. The decision making process has relatively little to do with the data and EVERYTHING to do with the personalities around the table and the politics of those relationships. Only a Missionary can effectively sponsor an idea. Incidentally, I think it’s kind of silly to put non-Missionaries on these types of committees in the first place. In practical terms their presence is meaningless. You can just wheel them in to run through slide decks as needed. It is interesting to consider, however, that the illusion of control/influence (a kind of theatre) might be essential to keep an organization functioning…

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Flat Arthur
Member
Flat Arthur

Never believe a rumor until it has been officially denied.

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