I have had several interesting disccussions over the past two weeks with regard to the importance of stories in building personal values as well as corporate values. Stories have been traditionally important to all cultures. Shared stories help to build shared communities. The stories told provide examples of heroes and ethical standards to strive for. Stories can be used to reinforce existing values and ethics and they can be used to challenge them, inspiring change.
While most stories carry a strong central theme, they may also carry multiple messages. The importance of one or more of the messages may change depending on how the story is told. The stories we embrace as a person or culture, whether the culture is a national or business culture or social group, are reflective of the values and ethics we hold. What do your stories say about you?