Rob Dalton / December 14, 2017

Does Belief Transfer?

"Those who tell the stories rule society."


Plato didn’t have the cloud and quantum computing at his disposal. But what he said holds true—now more than ever, when stories are distributed in great jostling waves, channeled by algorithms into tidy proof of our preconceived notions.

So what does “story” mean in the era of Digital Business Transformation?

It’s the difference between chaos and connection; making noise vs. making the sale.

Too many companies (and individuals) send out conflicting narratives, and without a clear story to share your audience loses track of who you are. But when everyone is drawn to a shared belief—a genuine story—your brand expands.

Now that Wire Stone has joined Accenture Interactive, we have access to the world’s largest digital network. But in order for us to make that technology effective, we must continue to forge meaningful connections with the people we seek to influence. Companies can spend millions on “DBT,” but all that transformative potential is lost when employees and customers don’t believe the central story.

Answer the right questions

Accenture knows that technology alone can’t create lasting change—“if there is no compelling belief in the need to act differently.” So while you’re considering the ramifications of DBT, reframe the acronym and ask yourself: Does Belief Transfer?

Transformation begins and ends in language, so every word is important, which is why meaning is lost when you use too many—all the evidence in the world won’t change your behavior unless a convincing story compels you to act.

Every organization that seeks to embrace new technology must start with a story that answers these fundamental questions:

  • Why is this transformation important?
  • What is our roadmap for change?
  • How do we inspire belief?

Everyone must understand the WHY behind an initiative before they can wholeheartedly join in; we must believe before we hoist the flag of allegiance.

Insight + emotion = belief

“Our ability to build emotional connections is the one skill that computers cannot replace because it’s uniquely human.”


As we all race to embrace Digital Business Transformation, the stories we share will mean the difference between empty promises and durable connections. We’re getting smarter about finding insights in the metrics maelstrom, but the only way to connect that data to desire is by transforming ideas into beliefs.

We strive to ensure our clients and colleagues realize their potential (and DBT investment) through the artful application of narrative, the greatest of human inventions. Because there’s only one way to build consensus and convince people to embrace change and pull in the same direction: tell them a good story.

Rob Dalton is executive creative director at Wire Stone, where he elevates the collective culture and scribbles poetry on whiteboards.