How can stories be used in organizations? Even though the practice of storytelling has virtually exploded all around the globe in recent years, many people are still puzzled about how to use stories in their communications. After 20 years of leading Corporate Storytelling® workshops, I’m surprised that the practice is still mysterious to so many people.
There is any number of ways that businesses, NGOs and governmental agencies–not to mention people in everyday life–can leverage the power of story. Storytelling is, after all, a communication tool, and communication is central to human interactions. When you need to communicate, there’s often a way to leverage the power of story. Use a story
- to attract investors, donors and employees
- to persuade people to a point of view
- to galvanize support among stakeholders
- to inspire
- to inform
- to build a cohesive team
- to nurture a culture
- to teach a lesson
- to heal
- to enliven historic events and people
- to explain the rationale behind a decision
- to breathe life into a vision
- keep people focused on a mission
- to demonstrate how a product or service improves or even saves lives
- to explain how a product or services makes everyday activities easier
- to underscore core values
And, of course, there’s at least one more use for stories that’s familiar to everyone: entertainment. We regularly share amusing stories with friends, family, co-workers and people we encounter in all areas of daily life. Leaders who understand the power of humor recognize that entertainment plays an important role in organizations. They know when to include a lighthearted tale to relieve tension in difficult times and how to incorporate fun stories when it’s time to celebrate.
Our days are filled with opportunities for storytelling. So what are you waiting for? Tell your stories!