“When is storytelling valued within your organisation?” was one of the questions we explored within our Australian wide survey on awareness and attitudes of story and narrative techniques in organisations. Categorising the responses from almost 400 senior executives and decision makers from public and private organisations across Australia, there emerged 7 popular story forms. Those were:
I’ve included an example of the hero story, success story, inspirational story and lesson/learning story forms below. Thanks to all our participants.
Hero Story for Sales
“Fairly often the heroism of the sales force is communicated to the greater organisation. One particular story that I remember and re-tell myself occasionally is of a sales exec who managed to get a contract signed on the last day of the month with a government department – the last day of the month was a Saturday!”
“Our organisation uses stories well in learning experiences and in our national conferences. About 3 years ago we completely abandoned the ritual sales/EBIT/Profit data driven powerpoints from our national conferences and we instead took our teams on a journey through great stories. This year at our national conference we had 800 store managers hearing about how we will get to our next performance horizon through the great stories that were already happening in the business. We then supplemented these internal messages with speakers who have told us their story. This year a particular highlight was an African American who beat all odds to become a star sportperson.”
“We have people within out organization who volunteer for a 3 mth assignment to Cambodia to work with the UN World Food Program, as part of our committment to Corporate Social Responsibility. These volunteers are known within our organization as ‘Storytellers’. They come back and travel around the country telling the story of their experience, motivating our staff to become engaged in the fundraising that we do and the inkind support that we provide from within Australia, as well as the rest of the world where we are located. In this situation, Storytelling is the only medium that would convey the emotion and engage the audience.”
“Safety Convention – a paralympian was invited to tell his story to the employees to get across the issue of safeworking and the duty of care to yourself and others. The Convention also provided an opportunity for employees to hear the stories of their work colleagues in small informal sessions and via themed stands and displays – example: those who were up for Safety innovation Awards were available at set times to share their story and expereinces that led to the innovation.”
When has storytelling been valued within your organisation? What other story forms have you noticed being valued?
Also read more about awareness of positive and negative stories in organisations here.
About Andrew Rixon
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