From the product to the leader of the Organization
When I was a young adult we had an expression that people, who were in the same groups i did, used to say that one of us was lying or inventing. This expression was:
-”Tell me stories that I like!”
It is with a smile on my face that today recall those meetings and those stories. There was a certain pleasure in crafting compelling stories even for trivial matters that today would be a gold mine if we apply to knowledge transfer in organizations.
Even though the amount of knowledge that we store in general decreases in value as time passes, storytelling can be a way to validate this knowledge in new contexts.
It is important however to remember that the narration doesn’t always work well. Storytelling may not exceed the quality of the underlying idea being transmitted as was the case with my friends.
The emotional charge contained in the stories causes the message to be integrated faster and deeper, but the meaning to extract cannot be tampered with.
Storytelling in organizations involves all stakeholders in the development of products or services and cannot stand for the description of processes or stages of development.
“A product is more than an idea, it’s more than a website, and it’s more than a transaction or list of functionalities. A product should provide an experience or service that adds value to someone’s life through fulfilling a need or satisfying a desire. The ultimate question then becomes: who identifies that value? After the executive or stakeholder identifies the initial idea, who in the organization ensures that the product and experience deliver value to the user? Maybe it isn’t the product manager, marketer, technologist, or designer; perhaps what we need is a new role: the product storyteller.”
A storyteller has to be someone who inspires confidence, has a purpose and does not lose the meaning of story elements.
We know that a key element to the success of relationships between people is the ability to create a compelling story. Story telling means being able to engage audiences, build trust and clarifying centers of influence.
Building trust in the transfer or sharing of knowledge is essential for the development of individuals and organizations.
Storytelling can feed the trust among the various stakeholders of the changing processes.
A good story helps to establish trust, articulating values, generating an inspiring action, resulting in knowledge sharing, community building and helps to open the paths of innovation.
The stories move us to action.
The action requires risk and is innovation. Our openness to risk-taking is rooted in our emotions and these are supported by our values. Innovation is a vital necessity for the competitiveness of enterprises and innovation only makes sense with risk-taking.
We know however that many managers, rooted not in emotions but on analysis, refuse the possibility of risk with ease. The same goes for most of the employees of the companies to defend their comfort zone.
The stories can shape how we respond.
We are confronted every day with new information, news that we confront with reality and that requires interpretation.
The stories teach us how to act.
If we feel this will to act upon hearing a story is because it inspires us. Feeling is to let the emotions break into our state of mind, and enhance “the values” which is in us, those values which have created the meaning of good or bad in the news that I received.
“Among the traits shared by inspirational leaders, one of the most important is the ability of storytelling. One well-told story is far more effective at touching listeners and moving them to action than an entire encyclopedia of cold, hard facts. From myths and fables to personal anecdotes, storytelling has a unique power to create connections quickly. People connect with the emotional power of stories…the potent impact of a story lingers long after mere facts and figures are quickly forgotten (or dismissed).”
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