It seems like the corporate world has discovered or re-discovered that a story has an impact on the bottom line. We killed the workplace soul that fuels creativity, ownership, and dedication with the removal of our stories as part of how we work. Just try to find out how many people know the story of their organization or the life stories of their colleagues.
Who, when, why and how was the organization started are story elements that are largely relegated to oblivion in the rush to have someone doing something for the pay they are receiving. Ask how many companies still have time set aside for employee orientation. Lack of that critical initial connection can be attributed to why many employees don’t feel like they belong. Stories are the only ticket we need to belong 홈타이.
We often don’t know the stories of the people we work with or the stories of our customers. Where did they come from? What are their life experiences? What are their family structures, hobbies and ups and downs? How does their personal vision align with the organizational mission? Stories are the only ticket we need to connect with others.
Statistics and PowerPoint slides, as good as some may argue they are, can never achieve the integrated value of a good story. Statistics and slides if used beyond a point determined by listeners, become the reason why they either text messages, read their email or watch videos on their cell phone-because to them, that is not as rude as dozing. A story, once started with appropriate connecting power, makes people want to hear the conflict and solution parts as well as the ending.
A story helps people own what they synthesized from it. They want to act it. They want to team up with others who were touched by the story in the same way. People want to do business with organizations or individuals whose story they know. People heal, find hope and get inspiration to bounce back after setbacks when they hear the story of someone who has overcome similar setbacks.
Not all stories are fit for corporate consumption.
Cinderella tales, Jack and the Beanstalk and why the Monkey and the Shark are not good friends (as told by this writer) have audiences that hold their breath so they don’t miss a word of the plot. But can you extrapolate the message that relates to the bottom line without your audience thinking they are re-doing kindergarten? You have to know how to select and tell stories that Make People Listen, Think and Act