In the history of human communication storytelling may be the most powerful form of all.
Until man was able to draw on cave walls and developed the ability to pass on communication via tablets or paper, storytelling is how cultures survived.
Because of its power to engage audiences, oral storytelling is making a comeback.
It is becoming a big part of organizational development and employee motivation.
In a conversation with a prospective client last week, a small business with 25 employees, the CEO was discussing his company’s history and it’s origins.
It was a fascinating story about how his father’s curiosity led him to discover the products his manufacturing company still makes today.
That story has become company lore.
It’s a legacy all employees are proud to carry forward.
On my drive home I continued to be fascinated by the story and it’s more than 50-year history.
Then, something dawned on me.
The reason I was asked to sit down with this small business CEO was not because of this historical origin story.
It was because two other stories were not being told.
I realized there are three stories company CEOs must consistently tell to create a championship caliber culture with motivated, engaged employees:
- The Origin Story
- The Vision Story
- The Contribution Story
- The Origin Story speaks to the legacy everyone is carrying forward together and provides context and purpose for motivation.
- The Vision Story builds on the origin and provides aspirational inspiration that will perpetuate the company’s legacy into the future. Without this story everyone is looking in the rearview mirror talking about “the good old days” and failing to adapt to a changing environment.
- The Contribution Story has two parts. Part 1 is telling the story of how the company is making a difference in the world. How is it contributing to make the world a better place? Part 2 is telling the story of the individual employees’ contribution. Each employee’s contribution story shows how he or she contributes within their role to the company’s contribution story.It gives the employee perspective and context. It allows them to see a direct line of sight between what they do and how it helps the company fulfill its contribution story.
What do you think?
How important are these three stories to creating a championship caliber company culture?
Leave a comment below to continue the conversation.
‘til next time, remember, Communicate With Power!