The Ones That Got Away – video stories

Posted on Aug 28, 2013

As I mentioned in this previous post, I’m writing a series of posts that lift the lid on some of the plans and ideas that either never saw the light of day or (as in this initial post) never fully developed.

One of my plans in my previous organisations was to use our internal collaborative platform to share a number of video stories.

In order to ‘lead the way’ I produced and starred in the first video (which I’m unfortunately unable to share video as I no longer have access to the original file). In it, I tell a story of observing a practice amongst colleagues that my experience told me was the ‘wrong way’, the question I asked the viewer of the video was…

If you observed the same would you:

a) Stop them and inform them of the ‘right way’, saving a lot of their time, but potentially taking a valuable ‘learning experience’ away from them?

b) allow them to continue until they realised they were wrong, which would waste time, but serve as a valuable experience


I also stumbled upon an interesting story whilst interviewing my  former HR Director as part of the Learner Survey I was undertaking. In it he tells a story of conducting a series of coaching sessions with a colleague in Spain, utilising the FaceTime function on their iPads.

The ‘takeaway’ from the video was to challenge your preconceptions (he had originally been sceptical over how well the sessions would run if they were not face-to-face) – why not watch the video below and hear the story from Brett Reid himself?

Now that I had some examples of video storytelling to share with others I went on the search for other stories.

Here are some of the stories I went looking for/that found me

  • Sales success stories – Interview the top salesperson of the month – what did they do/say etc that made them the top salesperson? What made them perform better than others.
  • Sales horror stories – what went wrong with a sale that they thought was guaranteed?
  • Thinking and acting differently stories – recording people who were doing something differently. Why? What effect was it having? (one particular story centered around a team who were feeling ‘stale’. They decided to take it in turns to identify a TED talk and distribute it to each team member prior to each team meeting and to use time during the meeting to discuss the content of the video. The upshot of which was that they felt re-energised as a team and several ‘innovative’ new ideas were forthcoming.

My plan had been to support these individuals/teams in terms of the recording, editing and distribution of each video until such time that they felt they had the skills and confidence to do so themselves, at which point I would step away.

I even incentivized them by suggesting that if they (either individually or as a team) recorded and distributed 4 videos over 3 months that the L&D budget would purchase that team a Flip-type camcorder in order to allow them to progress on their own.

You may notice that I said

“My plan *had* been”

Because I left the organisation just as the pieces were falling into place, recording meetings were being booked etc

Oh well… there’s always next time…

Image source


One Comment

  1. It’s probably the #PositiveDeviant in me, but couldn’t there be a ‘c.’ option in the first video? I mean the second video talks about challenging preconceptions. When you concluded their efforts would lead to failure based on your experience, wasn’t that a preconception? What are the odds of two colleagues doing the exact same thing the exact same way as you did? Their perceptions, skills, framing might have been different enough to lead to success. There might even have been a ‘d.’ option: identifying (and sharing) a method that doesn’t work so that future generations of peers don’t go that way.


  1. Sprinkle technology sparingly (Video bites) | Learning Electronically - […] a week after the session, Craig Taylor posted this blog post (The Ones That Got Away – Video Stories).…

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