It is not a bad idea, before attempting a complex collaboration, to paint a picture of what success looks like. It is not a bad idea to get people excited about the opportunity and to forge an emotional attachment to it. It is, in fact incredibly helpful to create a shared understanding of goals and aspirations, along with a shared, aspirational, emotional bond. There is a clear relationship between positive emotions and successful persuasion and negotiations.
This is what we mean by establishing a resonant narrative. If you can quickly present such a narrative that resonates with both hearts and minds, people will want to adopt it. Everything that happens afterward will come easier.
So, in its essence, the unusual video Trump’s team played for Kim Jong Un was a good idea. There were some clear flaws in the video and the messaging. For example, the answer to the question “Can history be changed?” is no. The cheesy stock imagery was… cheesy. The script was what you might expect from my daughter’s 8th-grade
class. The presentation of the film as a faux-commercial movie trailer starring Trump and Kim, and produced by “Destiny Pictures,” was weird, and undermined the aspirational opportunity by poking fun at it (or by simply lowering expectations). Such a sensitive situation with relatively unknown would a risky place for irony and humor that might easily be misconstrued.
All that being said, it was still a good idea. If you want to negotiate a big deal or get people to align with your way of thinking, paint your narrative in glowing, emotional terms. Without tipping over the top.