June, 2019 | Published by Anecdote - Putting Stories to Work.
Welcome to the June edition of Anecdotally! This month we're mixing things up and sharing a storytelling tip, a story, and an update on Shawn's book, Putting Stories to Work. We hope you enjoy this month's content!
Reading time for this issue: 3 minutes
A TIP: A strategy story does more than communicate your strategy
In addition to communicating your strategy, strategy stories:
Clarify your strategy: A consensus forms when everyone shares their perspective on what has happened in the business, and their take on the business' strategic choices.
Help craft your strategy: The strategy story process ensures a strategy is written down and agreed on.
Translate your strategy for the front line: A strategy story is not a script. Each business division can tell the story in a way which suits their circumstances. The essence of the story should be maintained, but its details can be modified.
Increase motivation: Hearing stories of others making progress on a strategy is motivational.
Provide the gist before the details: A strategy story helps entire workforces understand why they are undertaking particular tasks.
Discourage unethical behaviour: The number-one remedy for reducing unethical behaviour in business is to remove ambiguity. A strategy story helps remove ambiguity.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be publishing six videos on our LinkedIn page explaining each of these six benefits. You can watch the first 120-second video by clicking on the image below.
To read the entire blog post, and to learn more about strategy stories, click here.
In 2002, Steven Bradbury made the short track speed skating final at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. He was among five skaters who made the final. It seemed unlikely he would bring a medal home to Australia as his four competitors had all been picked to win.
The race was intense. For most laps, Steven stayed two to three metres behind his competitors from the United States, Canada, China, and Korea.
Then, on the last lap, Lia Jiajun made an over-ambitious attempt to overtake Apollo Ohno. The move sent both Jiajun and Apollo onto the ice, followed by Mathieu Turcotte and Ahn Hyun-soo. The accident left a clear path for Steven to cross the finish line and win Australia’s first medal at the Winter Olympics. To re-watch the race, click here.
Steven appeared lucky to have won, but he had played a clear strategy.
Steven was 28 years old, and it was his third Winter Olympics. He had been a top competitor in his sport for many years but had never won a medal. He had almost lost his life in two different skating accidents.
Before the race, Steven and his coach had sat down to discuss his strategy. The pair predicted a close race. They thought an accident was likely to occur. Steven’s coach instructed, “If there is an accident, stay out of it. Use it to your advantage”. So, that’s what he did.
To listen to the entire podcast episode, and to learn where to use this story, click here.
PUTTING STORIES TO WORK: The audiobook
Putting Stories to Work is now available as an audiobook, narrated by Shawn! Many thanks to Dave Stokes from author2audio for putting it together! Dave and his team work on all of our podcast episodes. We couldn't reccomend them highly enough!
If you haven't yet read Shawn's book, you can find the introduction, and download the first two chapters, here. You can find the audiobook on Audible, Apple Books or through any of the retailers listed here!
UPCOMING EVENTS: New Zealand, Germany, and Australia
17 Jul | Public Webinar A Conversation on Stories at Work
21 Aug | Auckland, NZ Storytelling for Leaders
12 Sep | Berlin, DE Storytelling for Leaders
29 Oct | Melbourne, AUS Storytelling for Leaders
30 Oct | Melbourne, AUS Storytelling for Sales
13 Nov | Sydney, AUS Storytelling for Leaders
14 Nov | Sydney, AUS Storytelling for Sales
For our complete 2019 events schedule, information and tickets, visit our events webpage.
Have you registered for the next installment of Shawn and Victoria Ward's free public webinar series, A Conversation on Stories at Work? We go live at 8:00pm (AEST - Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne) on July 17. Click here to secure your spot!