I first discovered TED Talks on a trip to Napa Valley. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design; if you don’t know about it, I strongly suggest you take a tour of the website . As we drove through Big Sur, we got to listen to several hours’ worth of ‘talks’ over the course of our journey. Each TED Talk reveals a facet of the speaker’s journey, trials and tribulations in their own words, their stories.
My fascination with the program and a recurring theme here at Consensus, is the stories we all possess and how they inform our lives and the lives of others. Actually, one of the most exciting and encouraging conversations I had when interviewing for this position was talking about story telling with Josh Gertler, our fearless leader and President of Consensus, Inc .
In that vein, I recently watched Dr. Brene’ Brown’s TED Talks after having read about her in a popular women’s magazine. In addition to being an author, Dr. Brown is a social-work research professor at the University of Houston, and has spent over a decade studying shame and vulnerability. Dr. Brown adroitly notes that the name of the program should be TED Talks Failure. Pointing out that everyone that gets up to give their 20 minute discourse has one thing in common and one thing to share; failure.
She tells an amazing story which resonated with me because her research to find the tangible, leads her to the intangibles that cultivate joy, encourage innovation and foster creativity. Her search for measurable, quantitative data produced a vocabulary for finding a happy and fulfilling life; only to discover that she herself was failing in the process. She spent the next several years in a search for her own happiness, I won’t ruin the end.
As I reflect on my first (almost) six months, I look at the faces around me and I am constantly reminded that each and every one of them is a story. Every client and stakeholder is a story; and they deserve to be told. How great to be surrounded by people that want to tell the stories of their clients and co-workers. Each story we tell influences our process and each story encourages growth throughout the communities in which we work. Stories continue to change and evolve as time informs them and I believe that Consensus Inc. will maintain the value and power every story holds.