Thursday, September 5, 2013

Customers are storytellers; companies are storydoers

My weekly book post on s+b's blogs offers a interesting twist on corporate storytelling:

What’s Your Metastory?

The first book I remember seeing on corporate storytelling was Managing by Storying Around: A New Method of Leadership (Doubleday Currency, 1992) by the late David Armstrong, a CEO who practiced what he preached. Armstrong took a time-honored idea—telling stories to communicate, disseminate, and reinforce information—and applied it to promulgating the mission, values, and strategy of a company.

Since then, many authors have written business books about how to use storytelling to galvanize employees and build brands, and more than a few of them have covered the topic in more practical detail than Armstrong—Annette Simmons immediately comes to mind. There are so many business books on storytelling, however, that I tend to give new ones a perfunctory browse and move on (been there, read that).

True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013), by Ty Montague, the cofounder of co:collective, a strategy and brand story consultancy, is an exception to my rule. Montague gets right to the chink in the armor of storytelling: Unless the story you tell about your company is true, it is just empty words. And the way you make a story true, he says, is by “storydoing.” Storydoing is telling a story through your the rest here

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