Listen to the Osage, the Dine and the Xicana and Learn About Storytelling.
I just came back from a trip that included lots of conversation with "creatives" and managers at ad agencies and one of the most important themes that recurred is the importance of storytelling in marketing a product and brand. To most of us in the innovation and design space, this is familiar but to corporate folks, it's a message that is still percolating through the ranks.
In my bird-watching trips, I've learned that the oral tradition of the American Indian gives Indians wonderful storytelling skills. We should all be learning from them. So if you're in Phoenix in Feburary, you might want to head over to the Heard Museum of Native Cultures & Art and sign up for its series on Storytelling Through Poetry. It's part of the American Indian Speaker Series.
We are moving through a vast cultural change that involves shifting from The Voice of Authority to The Voice of Understanding. Listening and understand--connecting and communicating--are the key skills of business culture today and the essence of leadership. If you don't get this--and many CEOs being fired these days clearly don't get this--you don't get the 21st century of social networking, disaggregated power and co-creation.