What Theme Parks Are Teaching Leaders About Employee Experience, Events & StoryTelling

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The future of work will resemble today’s most coveted theme parks. You won’t go to work every day, but you will be transported through an immersive employee experience. Leaders will immerse their teams in story. HR departments will be the designers of immersive employee experience. Companies will gather for events and meetings in a much more engaging way.

Barry Winkless’ team spent the last nine months researching The Future of Work. Barry’s team at CPL’s Future of Work Institute used this research to question, explore and design future work solutions. Along the way, they discovered some amazing insights to help us peek into the foreseeable future.

The Future of Work and the Theme Park Parallel

In the White Paper referenced above, a Theme Park analogy is used to visually describe findings. Inside this theme part, the researchers describe a 3W Model outlining key components of the future of work: Workplace, Workforce, and Work Task.

The theme was chosen because work will focus on engaging experience, unique events and attention to detail. This will be true not only for your customers experience, but also for your employees experience.

The Future of Work Involves Three Main Elements

1. Knowing Why Meetings Are Being Held

 Leaders and companies will be more intentional about when employees will gather for in-person or virtual events and meetings. COVID has accelerated this on the virtual level at a much faster pace than what had originally been predicted. Leaders of the future will create the right meetings for the right purpose.

2. Purposeful Design of Meetings & Events

Both virtual and in person events and meetings will live up to a new level of expectations with purposeful design. These designs will be held at a higher standard and created with deeper intentions than what we see today.

3. Using a StoryTelling Approach to Connect

Storytelling is the key to create emotional impact at the core business level to create change. It’s a gel; a connector; it’s a light; it illuminates a direction that hasn’t fully formed yet; it’s a motivator.If a leader needs to tell people about a strategy, they should immerse their team in a story about the strategy. The skill of storytelling is what leaders will use to enroll their employees as they move through their experience as an employee.

Leaders need to understand the structure of stories and know how to tell an interesting story. Leaders also need to role model good storytelling in order to create future story tellers. They need to tell stories that get across the essence of who they are in an authentic way.

Companies need to recognize that they are the product that’s being sold to employees, and they need to use the power of stories to connect with their employees. 

To do that, leaders can take cues from the film industry. The film industry uses tools like LogLines and Show Bibles to share their stories. Companies that are going to succeed in the future will have a purpose plus a story.


One line that quickly gets across the concept of a TV Series. Leaders need to know the logline of their business. Start with the LogLine, then do the show bible. 


A tool TV executives use to pitch the idea behind the TV Series. Show Bibles describe a logline, character breakdowns, an overview of the first season, summaries of each episode, and future season summaries. If leaders created a show bible for their business, what would that look like? Leaders should focus on the future they want to create, the atmosphere they want to foster, and the key characters that must be involved.

Leaders and companies need to start with the sources of storytelling, develop stories that are under three acts, and use those stories to connect at a much deeper level than we see now.

About Barry Winkless

Barry Winkless, is Chief Strategy Officer Cpl (a European Talent Solutions company part of Outsourcing Inc) & Head of the Future of Work Institute. Barry is a thought leader in strategic design, innovation and engagement with a particular focus on the future of work. Over the past 23 years he has worked locally & globally with some of the world’s most respected organisations. He is a frequent author and speaker at numerous client and international external events. His new book ‘Designing the Future of Work-A guide for leaders’ drops in 2021.

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