The skills and processes of narrative intelligence are the invisible glue in most truly successful organisations.
Helping people connect to the strategic narrative is crucial for collaborative working and yet many organisations struggle to share the story behind their strategy and so fail to unleash this intrinsic motivation in their employees or to inspire external stakeholders.
Our work in this area has a dual approach to address this. It develops storytelling skills and illustrative thinking as well as a toolkit of narrative techniques, templates and ideas to coach leaders and use with teams.
Narrative intelligence includes the ability to give context and explain where the organisation is headed, and why, in ways that make sense to people. It involves:
1. Inspiring people – by telling them stories that bring to life the values and purpose of the business unit or overall organisation.
2. Giving purpose and meaning to people by helping them think illustratively – so that they too can understand and articulate the business story.
Our programme can help communicators and leaders bring these skills into play quickly and in a structured and consistent way that is genuine and real. It usually involves some or all of the following:
Leadership workshops or coaching on:
- Storytelling for leaders – to influence and lead
- The business story – why we do what we do?
- Storytelling for the organisation’s ambassadors
- Story-listening (employee workshops for renewed energy and change)
A toolkit of narrative–promoting techniques:
- Higher Sense of Purpose: templates and processes for groups to explore the corporate story
- Story triggering: helping others find and tell stories in support of the main narrative
- Story-listening: sharing stories through an appreciative lens, such as that of appreciative inquiry, to trigger renewed focus on positive change and build the story and culture everyone wants from the bottom up
- Active story sharing to spark new ideas and behaviour change.
Transport for London, Royal Bank of Scotland and Novartis are three of our most recent clients to take advantage of our narrative mastery programme. These clients are keen to have these approaches in place for both top leadership teams and communications staff across all business units.
Contact us for further information on these programmes and our open workshops.
You can also read our recent article on ‘A Narrative Toolkit for IC’ published in IOIC Online.