What A Difference A Year Makes

What a difference a year makes

What A Difference A Year Makes

What A Difference A Year Makes 366 222 Shlomi Ron


Early this morning, I have come across this line chart you see below as I was browsing my LinkedIn feed.

It just spoke to me.

It’s a great illustration of how our storytelling mind works in making sense of our reality to inform our behavior. Yep, that ancient fight or flight survival mechanism.

Back in 2019, which now seems light-years away, remote workers ran the question: Why do I want to work remotely? against their past experiences, what they knew their friends are saying/doing, and how the world at that time was objectively behaving…

They likely picked out a bunch of meaningful details from stories they felt and thought strongly about.

They also edited out the irrelevant noise or uncomfortable truths and responded with the top reason that made sense to them at the time.

If you are also a remote worker what would you answer back in 2019? How would your answer change today?

Work remotely - survey

How would your top reason look like today?

Fast forward to April 2020, regardless of your personal experiences working remotely, the world – as we all know – has objectively changed.

Like “the wrong 1985” in Back To The Future movie, in 2020 world, the word Corona doesn’t bring up a serene beach escape, lolling palm trees, and a cold drink…

With the raging pandemic, new constraints were added like social distancing extra attention to personal hygiene, masks, and gloves.

We’re fighting an invisible virus but use physical absence or visual barriers to fight it.

Under the current state of affairs where we’re all still in Act 2 of a rolling story, fighting a sneaky “dragon” and our magical object (that miraculous vaccine) is still 18 months away, I bet the top reason would be:

Avoid getting infected!

When times are normal the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of new information, revolve more around higher rungs of self-fulfillment needs (e.g., work-life balance) whereas today we’d likely to replace them by physiological and safety needs.

When you see a tiger in front of you, you worry less about your self-esteem or higher-order philosophical questions…

Looking at this example, what do you do to unpack the stories your customers are telling themselves during these uncertain times? How can you bring value to their lives in a way that is sensitive, relevant, impactful, and doable?

I am curious to know what are you discovering. Did you guess right or did you learn new things you haven’t considered before that could open up new dialog channels?

Feel free to drop me a line by emailing me shlomi_at_visualstorytell_dot_com I am happy to help 🙂

Be well and stay safe!

Shlomi Ron

Shlomi Ron is the founder and CEO of the Visual Storytelling Institute, a Miami-based think tank with a mission to bring the gospel of visual storytelling from the world of art to more human-centric and purpose-driven marketing. A digital marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience working both on the agency and brand sides for Fortune 100/500 brands such as Nokia, IBM, and American Express. He started VSI to combine his marketing expertise with his passion for visual stories stemming from his interests in classic Italian cinema and managing the estate of video art pioneer, Buky Schwartz. At VSI, he helps brands rise above the communication noise through visual storytelling consulting, training, and thought leadership. Select clients include Estée Lauder, Microsoft, and Cable & Wireless – to name a few. He currently teaches Brand Storytelling at the University of Miami’s Business School. Thought leader and speaker at key marketing conferences. He is also the host of the Visual Storytelling Today podcast, which ranks in the top 10 best business storytelling podcasts on the Web. His book: Total Acuity: Tales with Marketing Morals to Help You Create Richer Visual Brand Stories. Outside work, he is a nascent bread baker, The Moth fan, and longtime fedora wearer likely to jive with his classic Italian cinema interest.

All stories by: Shlomi Ron

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