Cynthia Forstmann, co-founder of allegory studios, took us through storytelling that connects people at a deep, emotionally charged level. She calls these archetypes and she challenged us to discover what archetypes were active in our organizations.
Starting with a mini culture audit, she asked us 10 questions about our organizations. She asked us to go with our gut. For example, would you say that what differentiates your organizaiton form others is the way you transform lives or how innovative it is? This mini culture audit reminds us a bit of Jung and the Myers-Briggs. What we want to get to is: where are we strongest, how do we learn, how do we get things done?
There are 12 Archetypes. I’m an independent consultant so I decided to do the Archetype of my personal relationship. So, my Archetype is Jester. YIKES! Before I expain what that means, let me tell you about an Innocent Archetype. It’s Ivory snow. 99.9% pure. The Sage Archetype is about knowledge. Helping the people understand the world. Discover Channel is a great example. You can get more information about this at www.allegorystudios.com.
Back to the Jester. But before I do that (am I avoiding this or what?), the Revolutionary archetype scores the lowest for corporate america. They are willing to take risks. Apple is a good example. But, innovation is a challenging concept. Our processes of innovation stiffles innovation once the BIG idea is implemented.
Okay, back to Jester. Although it sounds like it wouldn’t have credibility, it’s about enjoying the moment. It’s about enjoying the work and bring out the kid in all of us. Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey is a great example of this. Southwest is another. Don’t they do flying procedures fun?
Whatever your archetype is, the bottom line…when you’re communicating to your employees, you need to know what is important to them. In essence, what is the archetype? If it’s to enjoy the moment, your communication will sound one way. If it’s Revolutionary, it sounds very different. It’s about the future, not the moment. Think about how you use your Archetype to create authentic communications. “When you tap into your Archetype, the messages start to write themselves” Cynthia promises us.