Shawn Callahan has a great post on The Uncanny Valley of Business Storytelling. The uncanny valley describes what happens as robots become more like humans. As long as they’re clearly robotic they don’t freak us out. If they are superbly able to mimic humans we don’t think of them as robots and they don’t freak us out. But it’s in that tricky final stages of perfection, when they’re not quite human, that’s what they make us very uncomfortable. It’s a fascinating transitional state, a little reminiscent of the saying that it’s always darkest before the dawn.
Shawn uses this as a metaphor for when business storytelling goes wrong… in essence when it the vestigial bit of business intent remains to destroy the integrity of a great story.
And if you’re after more of Shawn’s wisdom, he’ll be in London next month offering this workshop: Storytelling for Business Leaders. Shawn’s a friend of mine who has lots of experience in how to understand the role of narrative in business… and the manipulative pitfalls to avoid.