Leaders face an ever-growing number of challenges leading their organization in today’s faster-paced, increasingly interconnected world. One of the more common issues a leader has to address is dealing with change.
In most cases, when we talk about change, the focus is often on the process – of what steps we need to implement to ensure we achieve a successful outcome. And yet, what we fail to take into consideration is how using the power of storytelling can help us to ignite effective and sustainable change within our organization.
To illustrate what I mean, allow me to share this story of Mary, a fellow team leader who I worked with a few years ago.
At one of our weekly team leader meetings, Mary talked about a plan she had shared with the organization’s senior leadership about a new change initiative. As Mary described the details of her proposal, she pointed out the various benefits it would create for the organization in the upcoming years.
It was clear to everyone around the table that Mary had not only done her homework in conceptualizing this change initiative, but that she was also very passionate about her proposal.
Now, normally, when someone proposes any kind of change initiative, people tend to fall into one of three groups – one group that almost immediately loves the idea, another group that takes a more guarded wait-and-see stance, and the final group that actively resists it either because they don’t agree or because they’re concerned about what unexpected issues this change will give rise to.
But as I looked around at the various team leaders, I didn’t see supporters, naysayers, or those taking a more neutral, cautious stance. Instead, what I saw was a complete lack of interest in Mary’s proposal, something that became all the more apparent when Mary asked if anyone had any questions and was met with vague shrugs and silence.
On the surface, Mary’s idea wasn’t overtly good or bad, so why did the other leaders around that conference table react to her change proposal with such indifference?
While we might think the issue is tied specifically to the technical aspects of her change initiative, a closer look at how Mary went about presenting her proposal demonstrates a failure to consider three fundamentals to effective storytelling and how these elements can be powerful devices for driving change in your organization.
1. Craft a simple, memorable message of what you’re trying to achieve
As a writer, I enjoy watching movies and TV shows that create complex storylines that slowly unravel and evolve as the story progresses. When it’s done right, it allows for both a deeper look inside a character’s motivations, as well as creating a more rich experience as the viewer delves further into this imaginary world.
Of course, the problem with complex storytelling is Click here to continue reading »”3 Storytelling Elements That Successfully Drive Change”