Your Story Stinks, Therefore So Does Your Strategy
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One of the most important jobs for leaders is to inspire people to embrace change. Because if they don’t want to change, you can’t scale any idea, process, or new strategy. The key?
Paint a picture of a compelling journey and outcome that leads to action.
This is where the traditional PowerPoint deck gets leaders into serious trouble. The way we construct our stories and share our strategies is driven by numbers and bullet points. They’re void of emotion, narrative, and meaning. This approach is quite good at making compelling content extraordinarily dull.
Most businesses have incredibly interesting stories, full of drama and interesting plot lines. Yet in most companies, the stories we tell are mundane and uninteresting. They leave people disconnected and uninterested in truly taking part in the business adventure.
Telling Your Strategy Story
To tell a compelling strategy story that captures emotion and drama, you must outline the story you want to tell. Start with the following outline:
Moving from Words to Shared Meaning Wrapped in Strong Storytelling
Once you have a compelling strategy story, consider:
- your skill at telling it, and
- ensuring it means the same thing for everyone.
So, what do you do? Start with creating a 3-5-minute story, using your outline, that you tell with passion and conviction. Then, make sure you have shared meaning.
Think about all the times you’ve seen people try to get their ideas across by drawing images, arrows, or word pictures. You can use that same approach to visualize your story.
Practice and hone that story with different audiences until it becomes something that truly inspires.
When you’ve created a great vision with a compelling strategy story that inspires your people, you have addressed a critical blind spot.
From your point of view, what makes a strategy story compelling?
Jim Haudan is Co-Founder and Chairman, and Rich Berens is CEO and Chief Client Fanatic, of Root Inc. For 25 years, Root has worked with brands around the world to activate, motivate, and inspire their people to accelerate the speed of organizational change through a combination of disruptive methods, storytelling, and interactive experiences.
Haudan and Berens’ What Are Your Blind Spots?: Conquering the 5 Misconceptions that Hold Leaders Back is written to help professionals scrutinize their approach to leadership and figure out personal blind spots―the areas where style and methods are hampering success.