Think about how ridiculous this is. Storytelling is as old as cave painting and the first words uttered. Only now (after only 6,000 years!), storytelling has come of age: not in the nursery or morning kiddies’ television shows but in business! Yes, that’s right: in grown-up hard-cash 21st century business, and thankfully progressive organisations are on board with it.
Welcome to the 21st century where storytelling has been ‘discovered’
The December/January edition of Australian Institute of Company Directors Magazine highlights this trend in an article by trend curator Rohit Bhargava.
Storytelling is one of the 6 big trendsBhargava itemises 6 trends for company directors to be aware of for 2019 and #3 is the growing importance of storytelling. He calls it ‘backstory-telling’. His definition is;
Organisations use the power of stories to share the heritage, mission and reason for existing with audiences, to earn loyalty and position themselves as being desirable places to work.
He argues: ‘As the marketing world has shifted towards content versus promotion, the need for storytelling has become a priority at advertising agencies and corporate marketing teams around the world. The power of stories is certainly nothing new, but the sometimes staid and traditional world of marketing and advertising is on a collision course with the related worlds of media and entertainment.’
The timely rise of storytelling in business begs several questions:
- How can organisations communicate their story to their market unless they know and understand it?
- If they ever get around to capturing and knowing their story does every board member, every manager, every employee, every supplier and every distributor tell it consistently? Do all the organisation’s decisions and reviews relate back to the ‘backstory’.
- More importantly, how do organisations tell the story to the key players in the first place AND make sure they all tell it the same way? As it’s been lost for so long, the skills of the storyteller have been diminished.
- If you run your organisation by memo, text, Slack, email, lectures, or (crrrrringe!) Powerpoint shows, you are out of whack. Storytelling is the go.
It’s taken about 6,000 years for storytelling to find its place in business. It’s time to catch up.
Rohit Bhargava concludes, ‘This focus on storytelling is driven by a fundamental truth about consumers that is unlikely to change any time soon – that they are more engaged and will actually give you their attention when you have something valuable or interesting to share.’
So let’s talk.
Tell me a few stories and we’ll see if your operation is ripe for developing a storytelling culture, because, trust me, storytelling works. I’ll listen to where you and your people are on your journey. If we’re a fit, I’ll suggest whatever works: whatever is right; training, mentoring, a conference stage presentation, a course. Who knows? Email with this link and ask for a phone call.
The Colin Pearce Academy is taking enrolments before the holidays so if yours is a sector where things are quiet in the next five or six weeks this will be a good time to have you people delve into some up-skilling.