Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pixar Storytelling Rules: One Rule Could Help You Make Better Decisions?

I found this terrific list of Pixar storytelling rules the other day.  I encourage all my readers to take a look.  The lessons apply to all storytelling, not just the development of animated movies.  Since great leaders tell stories to communicate key messages, the rules are a must-read for business executives. 

I'm particularly interested in Rule #9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

Think of a tough decision you have had to make recently, one characterized by high stakes and a great deal of ambiguity.   Were you stuck at some point, unsure of how to proceed?  If so, you might try applying this rule.  Make a list of the options you would clearly NOT pursue.  Ask yourself why.   Developing the options that are clearly not plausible or attractive may help you generate alternatives that do make sense.  

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