Okay, is a company’s culture as important to you as it is to me?
I think we have to be really intentional about ensuring we protect that culture.
The culture is what employees have to rely on when and as they make decisions that affect how they serve our clients or customers (yes, there is a difference and I’ll tell you about that one day).
What I’ve learned is that the best way to instill and keep the culture well is story telling. Yes, storytelling… it’s not just for kids anymore. Stories are such a powerful form of communication in business that some large companies have a position called “Chief Story Teller”.
My best example of how storytelling teaches people to act and feel is the stories we heard from childhood of America. This is how we learn how to “be American.” This is how we learn to be strong and brave and true. It’s through the stories we heard of George Washington, Patrick Henry, Abraham Lincoln, and Rosa Parks.
When 9-11 happened the people in New York didn’t have to think about or be told what to do, they knew what to do because they knew who they were. They were Americans and they acted with bravery and strength and in so doing created even more stories of what it means to be an American. The story continued on. In the same way, we can teach our employees how to be successful at our companies, by telling stories and creating legends and heroes in our corporate history. You, the business leaders of this great country, are often the heroes in our stories.
- Use stories to accomplish these three key things:
a. Instill corporate pride.
b. Reinforce your values.
c. Teach culture.
- Gather your company stories:
a. Start a list of the stories you already tell.
b. Make them interesting.
c. Be honest.
- Create a culture of storytelling:
a. Make time for everyone to share.
b. Record your stories.
c. As often as you can, teach by telling a story.
“‘Thou shalt not’ is soon forgotten, but ‘once upon a time’ will last forever.” – Philip Pullman
Try a quick google search on “storytelling for business.”
Do you have stories you share regularly within your company? Please encourage and inspire others by sharing them in the comments!