When I was approached by Adaptive Edge to help capture the stories surrounding the future of real estate in the United States, I didn’t hesitate for a second. AdaptiveEdge is a strategic planning firm based in San Francisco and is run by two former Vancouverites, Nicole Boyer, Founder and CEO, and Betina Schonberger, Senior Practice Associate. It is one of the most innovative business models I have ever seen.

“Our partnerships have expanded to include an extraordinary global community of practice from across disciplines all focused around finding solutions for these essential questions for our time.”

The power behind Adaptive Edge’s vision lies in their ability to collaborate with experts in various fields, bringing unique specialists onto specific projects to maximize results. As a result, they are able to work with large-scale clients that benefit from the diversity of expertise that Adaptive Edge brings to the table.

Recently, I was invited by Adaptive Edge to help capture the stories being told by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in Chicago during an intensive strategic planning workshop. It was my first time participating in such a complex arena, and it reminded me of the wisdom of storytelling: the simplest stories tend to resonate the deepest.

Furthermore, it reminded me that storytelling is not about the history of an organization. So often, people see the work that I do as a recap of where they started and how they got here. Yes, the past informs the story and sets the scene for what is to come, but the true power of storytelling comes in the form of visioning. We imagine the world we want, and we use stories to help us get there. That is what Adaptive Edge is focusing on; our ability to imagine alternate realities for the future, create stories around those visions, choose the ultimate version and then set out on a path to achieve it. The strategy to get there should be simple and easy to follow, and above all, it should be revealed by the people who are going to implement it, not imposed or dropped down upon from a third party. It must have a grassroots origin whereby members of the organization identify the challenges, create the solutions, and select the future road to success.

This mentality directly aligns with my vision of using storytelling as a tool when creating a brand and communications strategy; the best stories are those told from multiple sources to encompass multiple touch points. Within my own network, I have learnt from experts like Glenn Sigurdson who remind us that as a facilitator, our role is to create the opportunity for shared decision making – which ultimately leads to shared responsibility. This means that by inviting everyone involved to the table, and allowing them to be a part of the process, you help ensure their continued support of the final decision. Adaptive Edge is helping engage NAR’s members, their board, their staff and the general public to share their perspectives on the challenges and successes surrounding home ownership and the role of the Realtor. We are then leading them through the rough waters of decision-making so that they can set a path toward their desired future for real estate in the United States.

It can be a long and windy road that is best travelled with experts like Adaptive Edge to guide you along the way.