Why Stories Are Better Told At Home

Stories: are they useful in a Corporate setting? Or do they do more harm than good?

In 2004, a book called Around the Corporate Campfire saw the author, Evelyn Clark …

profiling 15 highly successful companies that have embraced storytelling. They do this as a way to teach their employees about what is important while boosting their bottom line. As Clark states in her introduction to the book, “To understand and appreciate what their organization stands for, workers need to hear about its people, its values, and its history. So smart leaders tell stories.”

It called for companies to:

develop red-hot, value-based stories that spread like wildfire and propel them to their vision.

And spread they certainly have. They’ve reached such a point that I think it’s time to ring 999 and involve the fire brigade! It’s now almost obligatory for outstanding storytelling skill sets to be an essential component of any job advert. Take bigSTORY for example, a consultancy focused on organizational storytelling:

Stories are what connect us all. Stories are how we make sense of the world. Stories give context to information. Leaders of organizations are generally the chief storytellers and they are talking to the marketplace employees about vision of the company and their intentions for the future. The difficulty that leaders have is translating that into operation,” said Bonifer.

At KPMG, employees responding to a call from management for a higher purpose initiative sent in some 42,000 personal stories about how they’re changing the world.

KPMG was looking to re-establish its sense of purpose and build an emotional bond with staff. It turned to storytelling. In a Harvard Business Review article: ‘We encouraged everyone—from our interns to our Chairman—to share their own stories about how their work is making a difference.’

KPMG completed audits on HBOS, Countrywide Financial and Quindell. So you would be forgiven in thinking that they would be better off concentrating on their day job. I’m the first person to say that that stories are important. They can motivate and inspire us. But unfortunately, the corporate world has ignored one simple, important fact: most people are totally crap at telling them.

What do you think? Why not leave a comment below:

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Originally posted 2017-11-25 18:58:40.

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