It's a neverending story: a troubadour explains the spiral of change behind a brand story

Spiral change: the story evolves
Spiral change: the story evolves

At the end of National Storytelling Week, professional storyteller and troubadour Ben Fairlight explains "spiral change" - a process he describes as integral to every story and every product or company. Like a helix, the product remains the same, but its story is always evolving as the spiral journey goes on.

Storytelling is part of being alive. Actually, I don't think it's possible to separate life from storytelling. Both are in our DNA.

From a strong foundation begins a journey - but this may never happen if our windows are shut, if we don't occasionally walk out the door

Our stories go something like this:

From a strong foundation begins a journey. This may never happen if our windows are shut, if we don't occasionally walk out the door. So, maybe something or someone has to start things moving, to precipitate a (need to) change.

If we accept the challenge, an adventure opens before us - and possibly in a direction we'd never have guessed at. At some time we may realise we are on a quest and accept the struggles. That way, we will probably more easily identify what previously held us back, spot coming obstacles and enemies (even those within!).

Pausing to reflect on developments so far, we may see our origins in a new light, understand what we had to do to get where we now find ourselves - and now, even if we can't yet see our journey's end, prepare for what lies ahead.

More skills have yet to be learned, more problems solved, more support won and waste safely disposed of till, quite suddenly, we emerge from the mist and realise we have somehow come full circle and arrived at our goal.

We can look back over lands conquered. They are now ours, because if we have absorbed and assimilated lessons along the way - thus avoiding a premature arrival - we now know what we know - and we know what it takes to be what and where we are.

The journey we took to complete each cycle brings us to a new place further along the spiral. We are the same and different at the same moment: we've evolved

Taking on adventures and struggles

We now have complete confidence both in our strengths and our weaknesses - yes, confidence in our weaknesses, because we have learned they are our best teachers: ongoing research and development through taking on adventures and struggles as they arise.

Spiral change is a process integral to every story and maybe to every product development and business - and possibly to every living organism on earth.

It's a bio-feedback loop - or many loops arranged like strands of DNA. Seen along one axis of the helix, each cycle returns us merely to the same place. But the actual (longer) journey we took to complete each cycle brings us to a new place further along the spiral. We are the same and different at the same moment: we've evolved.

If we then allow ourselves to see the spiral helix as our developing business and products, we see that the spiral journey goes on and on.

The story is told and re-told, always changing, always being the same story. We just have to let it live: it's in our DNA!

Follow @BenFairlight on twitter or at 


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