Every person has a story.
So, too, every corporation.
What will make the difference, as marketers and communicators insist, is how we articulate and tell the story.
Of late, we’ve been mesmerized by Marshall Ganz, a lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School and a not-necessarily-well-known labor organizer, who worked for the likes of Cesar Chavez, SNCC (a Boomer alert!), behind the scenes at President Obama’s first election campaign, and other transformational initiatives. His story point of view relies on three - and only three - elements: the story of self (why we’re called on to do what we do), the story of us (what the organization has been called to do, a/k/a vision, mission and values), and the story of now – our challenges, our choices, and our hopes.
It’s a powerful angle, these three elements, one that many message platforms and business narratives don’t capture simply enough. Which begs the question, or many of them:
How often do we edit our stories – explaining how we are finding a better path?
Are our message platforms as powerful as the real story we can tell?
Do we, can we thoroughly explain what it means to be our organization, looking to the future through our past and present lenses?
If a story is intended to help people cope with change, eliminate the FUDs (fear, uncertainties, and doubts), uncomplicate the complex, and persuade, then there’s a real mandate to objectively review our stories often. After all, change happens both inside and outside our worlds; we need to make sense of those events and teach each other what they mean through our stories.
No question, it takes real courage to edit a decades-old narrative, refreshing it to reflect the here and now, with authenticity and candor. The questions then lie with you, our readers: Are you ready for that challenge? And how difficult has that path been?