How to use storytelling to build culture - Deepstash
How to use storytelling to build culture

How to use storytelling to build culture

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Stories help us make sense of the world

Stories help us make sense of the world

Narratives strengthen organizations. They build trust, enhance reputation, and move people into action.

Narratives can clarify a shared vision, align teams around a common purpose, and strengthen culture. The strongest organizational narratives start with strategic analysis and result in creative ideas.


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Define the story worth telling

For a narrative to improve reputation, it should tell stories in three areas:

  • What we do well
  • What competitors don’t do as well
  • What our audiences care about

To find answers and put the narrative in motion:

  • Identify which stakeholders to involve at each stage of the narrative development process.
  • Invite colleagues with the skills and authority to manage the narrative process from start to finish.
  • Invite leaders to describe their vision, strategy, and priorities. Ask for specific stories, examples and proof points.


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Distill the story lines

Distil three or four main stories. The more focused the narrative, the more likely audiences will associate a brand with these ideas.

To identify three or four core storylines:

  • Quickly craft possible narrative directions
  • Choose a subset to test.
  • Test early headlines, themes, and messages for resonance, authenticity, and differentiation.
  • Convene a diverse array of new reviewers for focus groups or one-on-one interviews.
  • Ask reviewers to share tangible examples that bring ideas to life. 


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Deliver the narrative, so it drives sustained and meaningful action

Deliver the narrative, so it drives sustained and meaningful action

Once the narrative is final and approved, share it within the company in inspiring ways.

  • Ask executives, upper-level managers, business resource group leads, advisers, and others to help craft a successful rollout plan. 
  • Engage managers on how to make the narrative real for their teams. 
  • Start a broader rollout for all colleagues to connect them with the larger company story.
  • Share the narrative externally through images, videos, recordings, and other creative campaigns.


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