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The “Rules of the World”

In every story there are agreed upon rules of the world. If you, as a viewer or reader don’t know the rules, the author will fill you in.


In my favorite movie of all time, there are princes and princesses and a forest that breaks out in spurts of fire. It is also the home to an animal known as an “ROUS” – a Rodents of Unusual Size.


Once you know the rules they are normalized and can become a driver of the story.


The same is true in stories of connection between friends, strangers and colleagues.


When I am with my best friends there are certain things I can say, certain jokes I can make.


In business situations there are rightfully rules of the world - things we can and cannot say and do.


But let’s take this a step further. What are some things that get “normalized” within the rules of the world of some businesses?


-The administration claims that that they are for the promotion of women in their organization. But the men on the Risk team are given “challenge” coins for jobs well done and the women are excluded.

-The company policy is that all Executive Directors get paid the same. Yet, when a graphic artist in the Marketing office gets promoted, she doesn’t get the corresponding salary bump.

-How about the one person who yells at everyone and engenders a lack of trust and a lot of toxicity but is kept in his/her position because they are a “producer?”


You see where I am going? (And yes, I’ve seen all of these)


When you write your next great story, be sure that the rules of the world are clear for the reader.


And when you lead any organization don’t let those rules of that world slide.


They are always important.

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