What’s Your Story?

Nov 24, 2014 | Big Picture Technology

If you’re ever in a meeting with Boomer (that’s Brightworks CoFounder John Boomershine), you’ll likely hear him talk about “the story.” This is how he refers to the big picture, the composite image that shines through after all the facts and failures and frustrations of your organization are put on the table. It’s the kind of picture you only get through relationships, through listening, and through shared experience. Sure, knowing what’s slowing down your network, or troubleshooting your key business applications are important, but those are just pieces of a puzzle.

In a time when information is not only king, but nearly limitless in its size and availability, we often forget that people are more than just information, and people are at the heart of technology. We’re creatures of story and fable. We may go to Wikipedia for the facts (more or less), but we read novels and watch movies to feel connected to those facts, through the power of storytelling. Try listing the plot of a popular movie for its facts, and you’ll end up with very little motivation for watching.

Take these for example…

If I say, “large shark taunts fishermen and local law enforcement”, you say meh, but if I say, “we’re gonna need a bigger boat,” you chuckle, then replay the boat chomping finale in your mind.

If I say, “history professor travels to the middle east for an archaeological dig,” you keep scrolling, but if I say, “it belongs in a museum,” you start whistling the theme song.

How does this apply to your technology?

Say you’ve got a dilapidated phone system in your office. You watch as your clients, colleagues, and competitors, use feature-rich phone sets that forward calls to their cell, email them voicemail transcripts, and operate through sexy touch screens. You decide it’s finally time to upgrade your old stuff, trade it in for the latest and greatest. Some companies would be happy to just walk in, list out the features and facts about how great a system it is, show you something flashy and fun, sell it, and walk away with the check.

Did they really get to know your story? Did they speak with key members of your team, those familiar with features the company could use to be successful in a new system? Did they talk with those folks that have, over the years, taken ownership of the current system and might understand why you’ve waited so long to upgrade? Are they, the consultants, concerned with how you’ll use those phones as your business grows, and how it will work with your existing tools? Is their perception of your needs, based on just facts, or faces as well? Will your employees say meh and keep scrolling, or look forward to the upgrade and increased functionality?

The bottom line is, if you don’t take the time to see the story, to step back and learn how things operate, you’ll end up throwing away time and money, only to create more problems and complications. At Brightworks, we look at your past, present, and future. We care about the road you’ve taken to get where you are, the people that have been along for the ride, and why your current solutions might be holding you back from something better.

Your company has a story, a history, and the technology you use is a part of it. Trust that technology to people who are as interested in your company’s story as you are, who want to see it make you successful, not just forward-thinking or frugal. Trust it to people who know the importance of your people, and their role in your success.