Have you ever read a business article that talks about “the power of storytelling”? If you have, you probably felt like it was a little shallow that researchers and analysts tout the benefits of storytelling across everything from gaining followers to increasing sales to cultivating brand loyalists. I mean, of course telling a compelling story can potentially improve sales and marketing functions, but is it really necessary at the core of the organization itself?
A recent Harvard Business Review article titled Storytelling That Drives Bold Change flipped the entire idea of storytelling in business on its head! The article claims that storytelling is far more than a “nice to have” sales/marketing approach. It makes the case that storytelling is a fundamental leadership need across all organizations. The executive summary explains,
“When tackling urgent organizational problems, leaders usually work hard to identify underlying causes, tap a wide range of knowledge, and experiment with solutions. But once they’ve mapped out a plan, there’s one more crucial step they must take: crafting a story so compelling that it will harness their organizations’ energy and direct it toward change.”
Frances Frei and Anne Morriss highlight the fact that organizational problems don’t just need a proposed fix, they need a proposal that will win people over. The narrative that leaders craft is just as important to the organization’s ability to overcome challenges as the plan itself.