The story of an organization.
Stories weave together fact and emotion into a tapestry of human experience that can be consumed vicariously. Stories can be used to explain complex environments and place complex information in a context that makes it easy to understand. An organization’s story is it’s identity. It is told and retold by those whom have experienced it and have heard it. In the case of an organization the story usually starts with an idea, vision, or dream of an individual or small group. Other people become involved in the story thorough various roles such as customers, employees, vendors, and suppliers and each one of them play a part in fulfilling the vision and making the idea complete. Success or failure is determined for each role by the message or story the leadership of that organization gives as feedback for the activities performed. Role-players interpret the value of the organization and it’s story as it pertains to them and retell the story to those to whom they can reach.
How the story is told:
- The leadership of the organization tells its story to an audience of role players: customers, vendors, suppliers, and employees.
- The role-players interpret the story based on their experiences with the organization and its leadership. The messages the role-player receives at the point of interaction from the organization and its leadership affect the interpretation of the story.
- Role-players retell their story of the organization.
The story’s message:
Organizations seeking to move prospects through the know, like, trust, try, buy stages must continually keep a message of identity, value proposition, and integrity continually flowing to the various role-players in an organization. By continually sending the same message through different channels and in different contexts, prospects can explore the organization and begin a relationship built on knowledge and trust.
Protection from misinterpretation:
It is important to manage the feedback given to the role-players as they will retell their story about the organization to various prospects affecting the its future viability and growth. Methods must be established for handling the communication aspect of each relationship in which the leadership directly communicates with a given role as well as processes for handling communication where the organizations role-players directly handle the customer. The methods and processes will help insure that each communication is consistent with the leaderships story and protect it from misinterpretation.
So what’s your story? How are you getting the word out? Are others saying the same things about your organization that you say about yourself? Are you consistent? I hope you’ve found some food for thought here.
We will discuss more on this topic in a later post.