Changing Mindsets through Storytelling

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When we hear a great story, something inside of us is awakened. We are instantly engaged, excited and dying to hear more. The very best stories change the way we think and feel about a situation and can inspire us to act. Stories are magic.

It is this magic that has catalysed more and more companies to harness the power of storytelling in order to excite clients and make changes by providing meaning within their organisations.

After all, a great story can shape the way that we see the world, our place in it and influence the values we adopt.  So why shouldn’t we use this approach to change mindsets?

 

How to get started

If you want to start driving change in your organisation, you need to start by remembering that storytelling is an art. It won’t just come to you overnight! Stories need to be repeated over time to become rich with detail.

Consider these elements when creating your story:

    • Use a tried and tested structure
      Stories are how we have passed on meaning, values and ideas over many centuries. They work because they appeal to our emotions far more than a logical transmission of data. To make them work we need to follow a simple storytelling framework – where it starts, who the main characters are and what is at stake.

 

    • Include leadership
      Your senior leadership team needs to be on board for any new change to take hold. By including them in this strategy, you send the signal that this is important and integral to the success. Origin stories involving the founders can be particularly interesting – we all know the ‘parent’s garage’ origin story of Apple, Amazon, HP and Microsoft, and that lends interest and value to the brand.

 

    • Weave stories into your comms
      When appropriate, thread and weave these stories into the fabric of every day. Use stories to share successes of “ordinary people achieving extraordinary results.” Keep it cohesive and tell the stories that make your organisation unique and full of life.

 

    • Keep them pertinent to your organisation
      If you want your stories to be effective, they need to fall in line with your organisation’s values and meaning. Poll your employees, conduct focus groups with clients and talk to as many people involved as possible in order to better understand your organisation unique and full of life.

 

  • Include your employees every step of the way
    For these stories to take hold, they need to be genuine. Your employees need to feel that they are real – not just an engagement strategy dreamed up behind closed doors. Establish an online forum that allows them to share their own stories and build on the stories of the organisation.

Storytelling as a strategy will improve your customer engagement, employee retention and overall success. We’ve seen its impact time and time again with our clients who use it.  If this article has whetted your appetite to learn more then you should consider joining our next breakfast event “How to change mindsets through storytelling” in London on 28th September.

 

Happy storytelling.