by Michael Holland
My friend Jerry can tell a heck of a story. He pulls in that southern charm, teases you with just enough data to paint the picture in your head and then delivers the guts of the story. In a matter of 3 to 4 minutes he has conveyed a full set of moral values usually with a laugh that can bring you to tears.
For your organization a good story can reveal so much about the culture of the organization. The blending of experiences, people, events, success, challenge, tragedy, and life converge within the organization over time to create the existing culture. Great leaders work hard to build a culture they believe will allow the organization to survive and excel over time. These leaders know that culture – good and bad – evolves over time and well told stories reveal the threads of people and events that created desired aspects of the culture. The leaders use the stories and history to paint the picture of the desired cultural state.
As you daydream in one of your back-to-back meetings today, meditate on the phrase “cultural storytelling.” What messages, morals, history, and behaviors would you like to convey to employees the next time you tell a story from the old or not so old days?