If you have a strategy, proposal or service you're getting ready to roll out, you need to be able to communicate it to your audience in a way that's meaningful and that resonates with them. You'll need to appeal to their hearts and imaginations, as well as their minds. The 30-page jargon-filled document that no one reads or understands, and the death-by-PowerPoint slide deck, are just not going to do the trick.
The first step is finding the story: a human-centred narrative your audience will relate to that takes into account the past, how things have changed, and the future you envision. To do this, I'll speak with you, your team, and a few of your stakeholders or customers, in order to listen to different perspectives and get a sense of what this narrative is. Then we'll workshop it and craft it together.
The second step is to look at your needs for sharing and engaging people with the story. I believe the most important way of communicating the story is telling it face-to-face in conversations and presentations, so we'll focus on how to do that. But you may need a few different ways of sharing it, including short videos, a document, a slide deck, an infographic, posters. We'll put a plan together.
Crafting Your Strategic Story
Storytelling is one of the most powerful skills you can learn as a leader. Stories go where information can’t; stories influence people’s feelings, and therefore they influence people’s decisions and actions. Leaders who learn to use stories effectively are able to build trust and differentiate themselves as communicators and influencers. They're able to convey messages easily in a way that is memorable, meaningful, real and engaging. They're able to show others what's possible.
This program starts with a preparation guide and a workshop to help your leadership team learn the four essential skills they need to start weaving real stories into their leadership communications: identifying a purpose, discovering stories, shaping a story, and sharing it.
As with any new skill, mastering storytelling takes practice. The workshop is followed by a twelve-week practice and mentoring program that supports each member of your leadership team as they start to use stories in their communications.
Storytelling for Leaders
Workshop and follow-up practice program
Your purpose and values are the starting point for building a strong culture in your organisation. People want to do work that’s meaningful. By declaring who you are and what you believe in, and embedding these ideas into everything you do, you’ll attract and keep great people who share your values and contribute their best work.
Your 'why' is also the foundation for long-term customer loyalty. As Simon Sinek says, people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. What you do may not be much different from your competitors. What makes you stand out is what you stand for.
This workshop program will guide your leadership team as you find a vision statement and set of values that reflect who you are and what makes you stand out, and that resonate with your team and your customers. We’ll also find a set of short, compelling, and real stories that give your vision and values meaning and help you bring them to life.
Stories are an excellent way to gain insights into different perspectives and experiences, either as a supplement or as an alternative to other ways of gathering information. Listening to others' stories provides context and meaning that can't be gained from a survey. And telling their stories face-to-face allows people to feel heard in a way that filling out a form doesn't. You can then use these insights to generate ideas or to inform decisions.
Here are just a few examples where this is a valuable approach:
- Understanding customer needs and customer experiences
- Creating a new story and new ways of working following a major change
- Allowing different groups to appreciate each others' perspectives
- Debriefing a major project or initiative
- As part of a brainstorming or innovation process
Let's talk about how to use this process in your transformation program.
Insights through stories