Storytelling: Did you see Zoro ?

If you are interested in knowing which stories resonate most with us then this blog is for you.

Earlier this week I was working with senior management of a gateway services company ( companies that specialise in ground handling, cargo, travel and catering services).

The day was focussed on getting stories from senior management which could be used in project plans roll out in 2016.

Due to the nature of the business our storytelling revolved a lot around operational stories but there is one story that became quiet popular and it was a story about a cat.

Here is the story for you as narrated by one of the VP’s of the company.

*A few years ago we had a cat called Zoro travelling alone from Japan to NewZealand. The animal cargo stopped in Singapore and to our horror Zoro escaped !

We were all stressed. I was actually in Madrid when I was given the news. Zoro’s owner was informed and she immediatley flew from New Zeland to Singapore.

We were thinking how to find Zoro? We came up with the idea of going to every house in Changi Village ( nearest residential area from the airport in Singapore  ) knock on the doors and ask the residents if they had seen Zoro?

All our efforts were wasted because Zoro was not to be found and people ridiculed our efforts by asking us, ” How is a cat going to land up in Changi Village from the airport?”

At one stage a colleague jokingly said, “we have to find this cat by hook or by crook … So, why don’t we buy a cat that looks just like Zoro and return it to the owner?” Of course, that was not an option but the comment made us laugh for a bit in a stressful situation. 

The pressure on us was building day by day and we had a very upset client ( the airline ) and Zoro’s owner looking at us for an answer that we did not have.

 We then decided to announce a reward for information on Zoro. Whilst I was co ordinating this from Madrid, I was thinking, ” Really, am I on telecon for a cat?”

After a few days we received a call from a gentlemen and he said, ” I think I have seen the cat you are looking for.”  We dashed to the location given by the informer and Zoro was there enjoying her food at a food court !

One of the pest control staff had found Zoro on tarmac the day he escaped and had very kindly brought him out towards Changi Village and let him free versus kill him.

Zoro was handed over to his owner and we could all breathe.

As the VP finished telling the story we were all laughing our guts out. I looked at him  and said, ” Its a lovely story” and I heard a voice from the audience…  “and a very impactful one ” when I looked towards the person who had made the remark, I noticed he had put his hand up wanting to say something. I handed the mic to him and he said,” this is a fun story but the real message behind it is,” we will go to any length to please our customers”. We all agreed…

That evening as I was writing the collection of stories told, I wondered why was this story so engaging?

Sometime ago I learnt that there are certain types of stories that resonate most and of these are stories that have death, powerful people and safety of children but my last few years of experience of working with stories has also informed me that stories with animals resonate with us.

I did some online research and found that there are some evidence to this. Here is an article that suggests people have more empathy for humans and  animals who can’t take care of themselves and this story fits in that category.

So, in essence stories that have death,

powerful people, safety of children and

animals resonate more with us. 

Some information in this blog is amended to maintain confidentiality and to make it more suitable for the readers.

Photo Credit: Flickr Nadia Seccareccai

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