Strategy stories: a key to business change
The beauty of Strategy Stories is they eliminate the clutter of Business speak / jargon and allow everyone to get on board.
Many leaders share strategies that talk about “Service excellence” and “Putting the customer first“, but fail to deliver. This is because a “jargon” vision is often not translated effectively as it is communicated. the message gets lost as it is shared by the leaders, to the management, and finally to the people on the ground who need to implement it. Just because they understand the definition doesn’t mean they will understand how it translates into day to day behaviours. Translating Values into behaviours requires us to share context and relate the ideas to the listener’s experiences. Strategies and values always require buy-in to enable delivery. If they cannot relate to an idea they will not deliver.
Part of our duty, as leaders, is to translate our lofty visions into stories that help our teams understand and implement them. Many visions have the impact of telling staff to “Bull”. What does that mean? It all depends on the context. It can mean to lie, be courageous, be out of control and many other things. Strategy Stories can help people understand what is meant by the vision and mission statements Leaders are so proud of. Many visions are meaningless unless in context and translated from business speak into real language.
3M and Nordstroms department store do this particularly well. 3M’s stories of how an employee wanted a bookmark for choir practice that would not fall out, and how he created the post it from a failed glue formulae speaks to their innovation culture. Nordstroms department store’s stories of customer service agents ironing a customers new shirt for a meeting, and wrapping parcels bought from other stores talk to their culture of exceptional customer service.
Do your employees understand what your vision and mission statement mean? Or does it make as much sense as telling them to “Plotterise“?
Strategy stories help increase buy-in and retention of ideas.
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