Data + Stories = Impact

We’ve been holding a series of lunch-and-learn sessions at the Iceberg office about improving our public speaking. This week’s session was about the power of storytelling.

We talked about how the most effective communicators are able to weave great storytelling with compelling data in order to have an impact.  If you’ve ever watched a great TED Talk you’ll understand this right away: the best speakers spend most of their time telling stories that help to convey the information they want to share.  (For a great example of this, see Bryan Stevenson or Ken Robinson.)

Aristotle figured this out over 2,000 years ago.  He believed there were three components of effective persuasion: Ethos (credibility), Logos (logic, data), and Pathos (emotions).  Effective speaking combines all three elements. People are moved more powerfully by stories than by statistics.

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Data + Stories = Impact

GRC solutions like RSA Archer can be a storytelling tool as well. Organizations have access to an immense amount of data. It’s one thing to know how many security incidents there were last month, or where there are gaps in compliance. An effective GRC program takes that technical information, and puts it in context to tell how affects the delivery of products and services in an organization. How will that security breach affect my ability to deliver our core services effectively?  How will those compliance issues affect the acquisition we’re considering?

My colleague Kirk Hogan often talks about Risk Intelligence as “giving meaning to the data”. Aggregate the risk data and translate it into meaningful stories that matter to the directors, the executives and the board, so that they can make effective decisions.


Interested in learning more about how to give meaning to data? Iceberg offers a Risk Metrics Development Workshop, helping organizations build meaningful and useful KRIs tied to business goals. Contact us for more info…

 

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Glen Gower

About the author

Glen is the director of marketing and communications at Iceberg.