How to ‘flip’ storyline patterns
Sometimes clients tell me they use our storyline patterns exactly as they are. They assume that the collection of seven will work for any situation without adjustment.
While I think the patterns are a terrific place to start, I suggest they are just the start.
So this week, I wanted to share three strategies for ‘flipping' patterns, which we will explore in more depth at this week's working session.
Here are the three strategies, which I expand further on below.
- Use opposites
- Merge two patterns into one
- Recut using first principles
Use opposites. For example, our Houston pattern kicks off by explaining that there is a problem. We can flip it to become a positive story, though, by beginning with an opportunity. I call this flipped version Opportunity Knocks. Let me illustrate.
Houston goes like this:
- We have identified a problem (support with explanation of the problem, ensuring you explain why it is a problem)
- However, ‘this' is the best way to solve that problem (support with list of reasons why)
- So, we recommend doing ‘this' (support with a list of actions)
Opportunity Knocks is very similar, and goes like this:
- We have identified an opportunity
- ‘This' is the best way to capture that opportunity
- So, we recommend doing ‘this'
Do you see what I mean? The pattern is largely the same but it is flipped at the start to allow for a different scenario.
Merge two patterns into one. If I were to again use Houston as a base, we can merge it with a number of different structures. I'll illustrate by merging it with To B or Not To B.
The merged Houston-To B Cross looks like this:
- We have identified a problem (support as explained above)
- Option B is the best way to solve that problem (support by explaining why B is better than the others)
- So, implement Option B (support with a list of actions)
Recut patterns using first principles. This strategy is most useful for grouping structures, so I will illustrate with Traffic Light.
Traffic Light typically supports a ‘so what' asserting that ‘everything is on track':
- We have completed X
- We have started Y
- We have a clear path to deliver the rest on time
We can, however, support Traffic Light many ways if we go back to the standard ‘structure, time or degree' strategies for ordering groupings.
The classic Traffic Light pattern uses time (past, present, future), so let's flip using ‘degree' as the frame. Here is how that would work:
Everything is on track because:
- We have gathered all the necessary data
- We have cleansed 70% of the data
- We have analysed 20% of the cleansed data
I hope that helps and look forward to talking more during this week's session.
PS You can register for this weeks working session here >>