Storytelling: How Scott Guthrie Handled a Situation in Microsoft ?

Not until you feel the problem, you feel the urge to find the right solution.

In their new book The Power of Moments Dan and Chip Heath recommend a strategy Tripping Over The Truth to make people feel the problem.

To trip over the truth is to endure an emotional wallop. When you have a sudden realization, one that you didn’t see coming, and one that you know viscerally is right, you’ve tripped over the truth. It’s a defining moment that in an instant can change the way you see the world.

How do we get people to trip over the truth in more ordinary organizational situations?

Consider the way Scott Guthrie handled a situation at Microsoft in 2011

*Scott Guthrie had  been tapped by Steve Ballmer to lead the company’s fast-growing cloud computing service, called Azure. Guthrie visited Azure customers, and their feedback about their experience with the service was clear: Azure’s underlying technology was good, but it was hard to use. Guthrie knew Azure would never meet its growth expectations until it was much more customer-friendly. But how could he get his colleagues to understand, viscerally, how far off-track they were?

He called an off-site meeting with his senior managers and software architects, and he gave them a challenge: Build an app using Azure, just as one of their customers might. It wasn’t supposed to be a difficult challenge. But the team struggled. Some execs couldn’t use certain features; others couldn’t even figure out how to sign up. Guthrie told Fortune’s Andrew Nusca, “It was a complete disaster.” Chastened, the executives resolved to fix the problems they’d encountered. By the end of their second day, they had produced a plan to rebuild Azure completely.

Now, it was important for the senior managers and software architects to Trip Over The Truth to come up with right solution. Because, in these Tripping Over Truth Moments we shift from understanding the problem to feeling the problem.

In absence of opportunities to create Tripping Over Truth moments we can always work with Business Storytelling. In Business Storytelling we come very close to  Tripping Over The Truth strategy by ensuring that we narrate the emotional difficulties attached to the problem we are solving. We transport people in to difficult situations where people feel the problem.

You can see in the example below that  we are focusing on emotional difficulties IOT can resolve.

Majority of our efforts are focussed on making people understand the situation but the real focus should really be in them feeling the problem.

*Source : The Power of Moments By Dan Heath and Chip Heath

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