Welcome back to our Storytelling Series based on the marketing book, Made to Stick (Amazon link) by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. Last week we looked at the Challenge Plot which is similar to a lot of Hollywood movies – hero faces adversity and triumphs in the end!

Today we look at:

The Creativity Plot

Creativity stories create those big “Aha!” moments and tell those “what if we … ” stories that work out in the end, even though the idea may seem a little too crazy or bold at the start. They inspire us to take a chance and support a new approach.

For a good creativity plot, you need a well-understood problem and a standard response that just doesn’t work.

Use the people around you — clients, volunteers, donors — to explain the problem and inadequate solution.

Next introduce the new approach that your nonprofit or someone affiliated with your nonprofit is trying. Theoretical solutions and test runs are OK here – you don’t have to have all the details figured out in order to inspire someone with the possibility of new solutions.

Then you end the story with a vision of a new reality and how that original problem would be solved.

Many nonprofits use this plot to tell their “founding” stories because finding creative new solutions to old problems is behind the formation of lots of nonprofits.

What You Need to Write The Creativity Plot

  • A well-understood problem
  • A standard response that just doesn’t work
  • A new approach (test runs or theories OK)
  • Vision of a new reality


List your…


Old Solution:

New, Better Solution:

Published On: March 13, 2019|Categories: Storytelling, Writing Skills and Content|