Storytelling has been with us for as long as the existence of humans but it is only more recently that its practical merits have sparked interest from academics and practitioners around the globe. For some time psychologists and neuroscientists have been fascinated by the human fondness for storytelling.
More recently, business academia has turned its attention to the subject, leading to published research by a number of business schools on the topic. These research papers confirm the effectiveness of storytelling as a powerful tool in various business disciplines, including leadership, change management, marketing and corporate communications.
Beyond published research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed a knowledge management tool based on storytelling techniques, and Lincoln Business School has run a storytelling conference.
The purpose of this blog is to explore, demonstrate and explain the storytelling techniques used by successful companies and executives such as the late Steve Jobs to influence internal and external audiences.
Contemporary managers need these skills for diverse business situations, including addressing company meetings, advertising their business, corporate presentations, brand management, strategic planning and sales presentations. Curious readers will be shown that successful corporations such as 3M, Xerox, IBM, NASA, Intel and Apple actively use storytelling techniques to explore and communicate complex management issues.
Microsoft has its own story-telling department and a dedicated Director of Storytelling. 3M replaced its traditional business- planning process with one focused on story telling, and Oracle has adopted a programme to enhance its sales process through creating engaging product stories known as “story-selling”.
With a focus on using storytelling as a business tool, this blog will give an overview of different theories of storytelling in a business environment. Readers will be introduced to practical frameworks and toolkits that can be applied in organisations to enhance communication across business disciplines.
I hope you will enjoy.