In Daniel Pink’s best-selling book, “A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future,” he outlines how the future of global business will belong to right-brainers. He details the characteristics right-brainers tend to have that makes them irreplaceable when compared to left-brainers. With the six traits he outlines, all of them are rooted in personal connection.
The right side of the brain focuses on creativity, emotion, and intuitiveness, which are some of the foundations for personal connection. As Pink points out in the book, creativity is the competitive differentiator that can differentiate commodities. It is the difference between your job being safe and being outsourced. Because left-brain jobs require logic, rational, and organization, they are the ones that are the easiest to automate.
Which leads us to the topic of this blog — how personal connection will make your business recession proof. To us, personal connection is all about storytelling with content that builds trust, shares story details and embraces emotion. All three of these pillars are natural right-brain traits, traits we use to help clients connect with their audiences.
In the book, Pink describes six senses that are necessary to survive in the age of artificial intelligence and machine learning:
- Design – Moving beyond function to engage the sense
- Story – Narrative added to products and services – not just argument
- Symphony – Adding invention and big picture thinking (not just detail focus)
- Empathy – Going beyond logic and engaging emotion and intuition
- Play – Bringing humor and lightheartedness to businesses and products
- Meaning – the purpose is the journey, give meaning to life from inside yourself
Of the six senses he mentions in the book, he places the most emphasis on “Story,” which is what is going to personify your products and services. The story is also what encompasses all the content created to position your brand in the marketplace. It is what is going to add context to the products and services and help the audience realize why they should care. Stories are the first step building a personal connection with your audience, something a machine can’t do.
Through storytelling, you are able to capture content that will engage the senses and pick out the details that are really going to resonate with your audience. You are going to give your brand a human element, something logic and reason can’t do. Storytelling is what is going to give your brand an edge against all the others; it’s going to be what gives it meaning in the global marketplace.
Stories are meant to be creative and playful while showcasing a wide range of emotion. This unique blend is what is going to personally connect with your audience. It is going to make them relate to you and your brand’s story; even the smallest of details or emotion are going to make a lasting impact on your audience. And it’s the right brain that makes this possible.
And to create great stories, you need to inspire your employees. A recession is often associated with firing employees, but companies that invest heavily in employee programs see the opposite effect. One company, CarMax, did exactly that. When the 2008 recession hit, CarMax boosted its employee training and development programs so existing employees could receive raises and move up in the company. By taking the time for employee development, CarMax was able to cultivate its own employees’ ideas to create a better customer experience. By investing in your employees, you can inspire new stories. As a result, CarMax sales are up 116 percent in 8 years, or 14.5 percent annually.
So the answer to how you can use personal connection to recession proof your business is simple: utilize the right side of your brain. Use storytelling as a way to engage your audience by way of emotion, trust, and details to create a creative and meaningful product. Stories are what is going to make your brand stand the test of time and personally connect with your audience on all levels.