Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Elevating the Conversation on Stories

« The Tree of Life | Main | Ask(?)Away on Storytelling in Marketing, now Portable »


Valeria -

Thanks for aggregating these diverse views in this way. There's a lot ot digest.

As far as stories, legends, fabrications, and lies are concerned, I believe people accept the fact that all stories are told from a certain perspective and, to a greater or lesser degree, reflect the bias and interests of the narrator. Indeed, that stories give specific shape to a given perspective, making it tangible, is part of their value. At the same time, people are sensitive to the difference between bias, spin, and outright lying. While they can live with bias, especially when it's acknowledged, it's harder to live with lies.

It's also worth remembering that stories don't exist in isolation. They build off stories that precede them and provoke new stories in response. While you can try to control the narrative you are developing, you can't control the narratives that will in turn incorporate it. Lying isn't so much a problem in itself; t's a problem because of the new stories it engenders.

Joe has done wonders for this conversation. I know Gerry wanted to join in today as well.

Greg, I think we can all get behind the not telling a fabricated story. And yet I cannot help but think that legends are built on kernels of truth that snowball for the sake of inspiration.

Roger -- "you have to provide the vision of a reality that will exist so that people stop fighting against it." This is a very interesting thought, and probably quite difficult to do, if people are indeed bent on fighting reality.

Hi Greg,

Absolutely, 'useful lies' are dangerous. I expected some feedback due to the powerful negative connection we all share with the word 'lie'.

Think of these as metaphors or analogies: branded as a useful lie. This context gives that much more credence to what you're saying about stories: the more truthful, the more on point they are, the better. I am not advocating for useful lies. I am advocating for the value of stories, and the difficulty in crafting great ones. Events happen all the time. Stories do not. Sometimes a metaphor or analogy can assist, bringing more people into the story.

"Oh what tangled webs we weave, when first we practice to deceive" - right?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Conversation Agent

  • Since 2006, Conversation Agent focuses on business, technology, digital culture, and human behavior. At Conversation Agent LLC, I help organizations and brands that want to build better experiences tell a new story.


As seen on

Advisory Boards

Marketing that makes business sense


Book Reviews

  • Conversation Agent participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. It provides a means for Conversation Agent to earn commissions by linking to Amazon.

Comment Policy and Social Guidelines

  • This is my blog and not a public space. Critical discourse is welcomed. However, inappropriate comments will be deleted. See my social guidelines for reference.


  • The opinions blogged herein represent only those of Valeria Maltoni and do not reflect those of her employer, persons or companies mentioned herein, or anyone else.