The Power of Storytelling in ChangeMay 17, 2022
Last week, I shared about an amazing team conference I went to.
And I told it as a story.
Stories are incredibly powerful when it comes to Change Management.
There's the change narrative - which details why the change is happening and brings to light key insights and perspectives to shape the need for change and what the path ahead looks like. It's probably more on the technical side of Change.
When I talk about storytelling, I mean metaphors, allegories, case studies, and lived experiences, and bringing these in to all aspects of Change, all the way along. This is more the emotional side of Change.
Stories are so powerful because they shake people up and wake people up:
- They capture people's attention and interrupt the day-to-day
- They open up the mind to take in new information and ideas
- They convey messages, morals and lessons in an easy-to-consume format
- They use symbolism to tap into the deeper levels of the mind and seed the change
- They are super engaging and enjoyable... even if you're not the best storyteller or it's a story they've heard before!
And guess what - the story doesn't even have to be real! You could completely make it up. And it will still resonate and engage your people. Because for thousands of years, the only way people could share information and knowledge was through stories. So no matter what age or stage, you could use stories to bring your change to life.
Here's a few examples of how and when you could bring stories in:
- When running a briefing or training - use a story to open the session or come back from a break
- When explaining the need for change - share past experience or case studies of what's not working, or paint a picture of a dismal future if we don't change
- When building trust in the solution / outcome - share case studies or lived experiences of successful users, such as from testers, pilot team, or real-life customers or clients
- When explaining a complex process or concept - use a metaphor to parallel, for example - if you had to prioritise a portfolio of work, that could be like deciding which apps will go on the home screen of your smartphone versus which apps will go on further page
- When sharing your vision of the future - paint a picture of what life will be like when the change successfully lands
Stories are one of my favourite tools to bring into Change because they engage the heart as well as the head. I go much deeper into this topic in my free webinar "Engaging Hearts and Minds through Change".
Hurry and register now to watch the replay recording - it won't be available for long:
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