Strengthen and Reinforce Your Company Culture by Embracing Storytelling

May 7, 2018

Breathe Life into Your Core Values and Core Purpose

“Once upon a time…”

When you hear that phrase, what sorts of memories or feelings are conjured up in your imagination? Is it merely a wave of nostalgia from your childhood, or is it something more, something deeper and more powerful?

Children have an innate love of stories. When they become truly invested in a story, they want to know more about that world and their favorite characters. Most kids will even make great efforts to emulate them.

The Power of Storytelling

As forward-thinking business owners, we shouldn’t relegate storytelling to childhood, as its power shouldn’t be underestimated. If Netflix’s immense and rapid growth is any indication, stories are not just for children – grownups are drawn to stories, too. 

Stories have the power to create magic, reinforcing a sense of wonder at the world. Good stories teach us lessons about life, about others, and even about ourselves. By telling well-crafted stories that deliver a meaningful message, we can instill positive traits such as wisdom, courage, honesty, and loyalty.

When it comes to strengthening your company’s culture, storytelling can be a one of the most effective tools in your toolkit. During my experience as a CEO and with my clients, I’ve found that one of the best ways you can reinforce your Core Values and Core Purpose is to tell stories about how employees live them out in everyday life.

Facilitating Storytelling

What does this look like in practice? At monthly meetings, designate time for employees to tell their collective stories. You may be surprised at the stories you hear.

· Tales about co-workers who went above and beyond for the organization, working tirelessly on an important project.

· Accounts of truly impactful customer service, the lengths employees will go to in order to ensure the client’s needs are met.

· Stories of teams working together cross-functionally to solve a greater problem.  

From small every-day moments, to sweeping, organization-wide experiences, giving voice to these stories can inspire truly impactful results.

Safekeeping Your Stories

Such stories are invaluable, so whether it be in audio, video, or written format, I recommend capturing them and creating a place where they can live forever. As you build up your bank of stories, categorize them by Value and Purpose for future reference. Soon, you will have a living library that colorizes your Core Values and Core Purpose, both for future employees and your customers.

We’re never too old for stories. By harnessing the power of impactful storytelling, you can convey your organization’s purpose and vision in ways that go beyond simply writing out your mission statement on paper.