In my last post, Finding the Balance Between Left and Right,I mentioned Daniel Pink’s concept of finding personal and professional balance by leveraging both sides of your brain. In it he outlines six fundamental “right brain” aptitudes that are essential to achieving balance. The one that stuck out in my mind was the chapter covering, “story.”
Here’s a left brain fact we have all heard; According to advertising experts, a customer is exposed to more than fifteen hundred marketing messages each day. In this crowded marketplace, Pink explains that “story” means having an impact on individuals and businesses that helps to distinguish your goods and services. How? Well, storytelling is sharing information and developing an identity or an image that people will remember and identify with.
Pink states, “stories are easier to remember – because in many ways, stories are how we remember.” He continues, “Story is high concept because it sharpens our understanding of one thing by showing it in the context of something else.” I can really relate to that. As I mentioned, in my first ever post, “if you don’t know me, then you will quickly come to realize I am the type of person who learns and connects through telling stories.”
My previous company, Entrequest, makes this a number one strategy for their customers and themselves. They help businesses develop a “story that sticks” by rediscovering or uncovering what’s remarkable about their organization and communicating it to their target market. In fact, I invite you to check out Entrequest’s recent blog post, Communicating Your Story to the Four Personality Types,to help you get started in understanding some of the elements that should be reflected in your story to help you connect with audiences.
For me, storytelling is a powerful communication tool that not only helps individuals outside your business connect to you and remember who you are, but also supports a “common language” and background for your teammates. You may be surprised by how many different “stories” you would collect, if you asked your colleagues to tell you about your organization. That’s not the end of it though, it’s an ongoing process. Once you identify your organization’s story, it’s important to share it internally and on a continuous basis to cultivate and strengthen your workplace culture. A side benefit to doing this is that it is another way to ensure that your organization’s story will be spread by your teammates, and remembered by their networks as well.
MKS&H, has a story that has been built over 65 years. This year we are challenging ourselves to bring it to life. It’s a venture that I look forward to sharing with you in future posts, but for now let me ask…What’s your organization's story?