Without a story or a narrative how can you truly communicate your strategy to your people and beyond?
Stories are engrained in us from a young age... Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, kissing the frogs to find your Prince. These stories may be fictional but we remember them because they had heart and feeling so resonated with us.
Corporate storytelling is no different. The story that we tell our employees should be the same story we're telling the customers.
Both worlds overlap, messages intertwine and employees should become true brand advocates for the business to create long lasting success.
As your brain processes the story as it unfolds, it imagines being inside the story mirroring the experience being described. Emotion is now considered as a component of sense making by numerous academics (Brown et al 2016).
If you truly buy into values and beliefs, it gives you a purpose and that purpose creates tangible results within corporate organisations. These values and beliefs need to be brought to life by using the right tools. They can't just be written down or referenced every quarter, it needs to be real, they need to be lived and deployed at the right time, in the right way to really resonate with your people. There are many ways to do this.
We recently created an hour long documentary for Iceland Foods, that delved into the past 50 years of the business. We nurtured the story, digitised 50 years worth of footage, reflected on key moments and reshot up to date interviews to complete the story.
Zilber (2007 in Brown et al 2016) describes stories as a ‘potent tool for meaning-making’, suggesting that stories which are constructed around local ‘realities’ can help leaders to create a sense of understanding and employees should be encouraged to share their own stories (Groysberg 2012).
The outcome of the documentary was inspiring. It reignited employees love for the business, who otherwise may have felt disconnected during the pandemic. We told a story that connected with thousands of people because it had meaning and a journey that is unforgettable. Take a closer look at the documentary here.
You may not have 50 years worth of footage at your disposal but everyone has a story. Talk to us, we'd love to hear from you.