Humans communicate primarily through story. We tell our spouses stories about our day. An article in this magazine is called a story. Our understanding of the past comes to us in stories, too, from mythology and religion down to the tale Grandpa has told a thousand times about walking 7 miles to school through snow. In the hands of a visionary seer, or someone the authors call a “Torchbearer” like Steve Jobs, stories can also help us see and understand the future, Nancy Duarte and Patti Sanchez write.
That’s a valuable insight in an era of rapid change. “Each time I see the business starting to settle into a state of comfort, I begin to envision our next transformation,” writes Duarte, co-founder and CEO of Duarte, the largest design firm in Silicon Valley. Illuminate brims with catchphrases and terms—the Five-Stage Venture Scape, the Torchbearer’s Toolkit (deliver speeches, tell stories, hold ceremonies)—but, drawn from Duarte’s experience with the changes her own company has undergone, these never seem corny or cliché. Delivered in the form of one vivid story after another, they resonate in the mind.
By Nancy Duarte and Patti Sanchez
February; Portfolio; $32
This article appears in the February 2016 issue of SUCCESS magazine.