The Power of Our Stories
We all know that stories have been used to convey our most essential messages since the dawn of mankind. Stories shape our attitudes and behavior. Stories express everything about our businesses too.
Why? Simple. That’s the way we humans describe things.
When Dave Carroll an award winning singer-songwriter was faced with a difficult customer service issue with United Airlines in 2009, Dave used his ability as a master storyteller to share his issue with the world. The resulting YouTube music video called “United Breaks Guitars” became an instant viral hit and today over 150 million people have been introduced to his story.
In the process of sharing his famed customer experience with hundreds of organizations around the world and learning from their experiences, Dave realized this service, leadership and company failure wasn’t just one story, depending upon how you looked at it, it was several stories at the same time.
What became increasingly clear is that there are a few special stories that seem to unite successful businesses. “For every company I have found there are 5 stories that define its success.”
- The Company Store (where we’ve been, how we got here, who we are, and what’s important)
- The Customer Story (what is it that customers tell us, and importantly each other, about what it is like to do business with us)
- The Employee Story (what our people tell each other and our potential recruits about what it is like to work here)
- The Story of Tomorrow (where we are going, how we’ll get there, and what role will people play – especially me)
- My Story (the story I tell to be effective in my job and in life. This story connects where we are to where we want to go)
From learning and successfully living these 5 stories, the 5 key business drivers-culture, engagement, customer experience, innovation and leadership-are defined and the organization and its people have an understandable, effective way to align, influence and communicate its actions toward desired results.