"Great stories happen to those who can tell them."
That quote is from Ira Glass of National Public Radio, and I’ve taken those words to heart — even including them in my one-page career profile. (This storyteller, btw, is happy to talk to you about a consultative engagement.)
I love telling stories and have accumulated many over a career spanning decades in business, working with start-ups, private equity companies, turnarounds, and well established industry leaders — many of them caught up in the throes of business transformation. Here's an example of a story I've carried with me for many years.
Popeye the Sailor is copyrighted in the US by King Features Syndicate, Inc. Used here through fair use doctrine.
Years ago, my employer was acquiring a small company. In a meeting with their CMO and executives of both companies, the CMO walked us through the marketing team structure in which, we learned, the buyer journey had been mapped, segmented into portions, and then assigned by segment to the marketing team members.
The Think Sign from Spaceship Earth at EPCOT Center
IBM's building at 1133 Westchester in White Plains, New York, was a massive, concrete structure that, if rumors were true, had been designed during the cold war as a bomb shelter. I reported to work there early in 1997, long after the immediate threat of World War IIII had subsided, at least for a time.
This photo of Bob Barker in his later years is from Reddit.
To those of us who grew up in the U.S. through the early 2000’s, we understand the role the late Bob Barker played in pop society. Barker, who passed recently at age 99, was the breeziest and most facile of television game show hosts. Smooth, neatly coiffed, nice guy persona, and (in real life as well as on screen) a man totally committed to animal rights.
“Lieutenant D. H. Rucker Leading the First Dragoons” by Samuel Chamberlain
For decades, I used airline boarding passes as bookmarks. That practice has ended with passes now being stored on my phone. Plus, even if I print a pass at the airport, it's produced on insubstantial thermal paper instead of the satisfying card stock of years ago.
Image created by Microsoft Bing AI at the author's command. Image and article are copyright (c) by Baker Egerton, 2023.
I became a business storyteller and writer before the advent of the Internet. So I remember that time: one of staggering opportunity and disruption, albeit one that unfurled more slowly than today’s AI juggernaut.