I have always felt that stories and storytelling are undervalued in society. A story well told can influence opinion and, magnified through today’s technology, can change people's lives by providing them with the power of choice.
Here at Red Leaf, stories are the lifeblood of our business. Not just any story will do, but facilitated, interactive stories that encourage our customers to discuss challenges and think about leadership in different ways. We are constantly on the lookout for new material.
To develop Tracking Success (our latest interactive story) Red Leaf teamed up with South Africa based Alex van den Heever and Renias Mhlongo, co-founders of Tracker Academy. Tracker Academy is a not-for-profit organisation that trains disadvantaged rural people in the traditional skills of wildlife tracking. Many Tracker Academy students have no formal education and life choices are limited. The academy prides itself on the percentage of students that go on to secure permanent jobs in ecotourism and related industries.
Back to stories and choices…
We recently ran Tracking Success for a large US technology company. Participants made team decisions as if they were Tracker Academy grads on the African Savanah. Whilst choosing their path through the branching decision trees, they had productive conversations about their leadership and business challenges. This is when the power of Tracking Success started to show its value and a central question started to emerge:
Could the company support Tracker Academy and, in so doing, help the very environment and people in the story that was giving them so much value?
The conversation resulted in the annual sponsorship of a student at Tracker Academy. This sponsorship will widen the range of choices available to, and most likely, completely change the life prospects of a student and ultimately contribute to protecting Africa’s spectacular wild places. The corporate participants will be able to follow the progress of the student over time and will forever have a reminder of a positive shared learning experience that got them thinking and acting differently.
None of this would have been possible without the power of a story and a choice.
To view the Tracking Success trailer please click Here
To find out more about Tracker Academy please click Here
To find out more about Renias and Alex please click Here
I would welcome any comments or feedback you may have.