business news in context, analysis with attitude

This commentary is available as both text and video; enjoy both or either ... they are similar, but not exactly the same. To see past FaceTime commentaries, go to the MNB Channel on YouTube.

Hi, Kevin Coupe here and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.

There's a new term that I've seen popping up lately that strikes me as kind of interesting:

"Narrative violation."

In the venture capitalists' world, it is a kind of buzzword. It refers to what happens when the facts bump into conventional wisdom.

There was a New York Times story the other day about "a selection of recent facts that have violated the narrative: A ride-hailing start-up being profitable; crime falling in San Francisco; boomers driving the urban apartment surge."

In other words, not everything is as it appears, or as we would like it to be. Leaders are better off, in this way of thinking, if they are willing to accept this. And not, to use another buzz-phrase that we love here on MNB, engaged in "epistemic closure."

I think it is important not to think of a "narrative violation" as something that occurs outside an organization, something that we observe in someone else's story.

I actually think that a "narrative violation" is something that companies need to embrace … even instigate … though certainly in synch with a brand's value proposition.

As we move into 2020, I think that companies that want to be different ought to actually may it a goal to create narrative violations within their organizations and in the perception of their customers.

Last week in the Innovation Conversation, Tom Furphy and I talked about the importance of companies challenging themselves by playing internal games of "will / should" - ask people to talk about what they think "will" happen next year, and what "should" happen … and then focus on making the latter actually happen.

This is kind of the same thing. Challenge folks within your organization … challenge yourself … to determine where narrative violations should take place, where you can defy and exceed conventional wisdom.

It is something we all have to do. Bring on the New Year.

That's what is on my mind as we wrap up 2020. As always, I want to hear what is on your mind.

KC's View: