Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mining metaphors

I’d wager that in the last week you've been engaged in a conversation that’s stuck in park. Could be a sales pitch, a company presentation, or a casual coffee-in-hand soccer game sideline chat. Regardless, you do not connect; to quote R.E.M., you can’t get there from here, and you don’t know what or where there is (if there’s a there there).

If there’s a there there, the e-brake can be disengaged with a metaphor, assuming the driver (communicator) can metaphorically communicate (unlock the brake). Several recent experiences reminisced a great read: Metaphors We Live By. A quick take:

We understand experience metaphorically when we use a gestalt from one domain of experience to structure experience in another domain.
Well said. It reckons the challenge entrepreneurs face in articulating their story. Most fail to break through – to effectively communicate, and therefore to accomplish their objective [e.g., make the sale, raise money, sire the partnership] – oftentimes because they fail to get their audience to relate. Back to Metaphors We Live By:
Metaphorical imagination is a crucial skill in creating rapport and in communicating the nature of unshared experience. This skill consists, in large measure, of the ability to bend your world view and adjust the way you categorize your experience.
Entrepreneurs are imaginative by nature. Great entrepreneurs – presuming they are harnessing, to paraphrase Scott Adams for the second time tonight, something rare and valuable – relate. They communicate through imaginative rationality. Metaphors We Live By:
It (imaginative rationality) permits an understanding of one kind of experience in terms of another, creating coherences by virtue of imposing gestalts that are structured by natural dimensions of experience. New metaphors are capable of creating new understandings and, therefore, new realities.
New understandings and new realities: Sounds like the de-park challenge for entrepreneurs who seek to foster rare and valuable propositions.

No comments: