Corporate Story Telling

All cultures have used stories to convey morality tales to instill desired societal values and behaviors. The role of stories is no less critical to establishing a business culture.

Stories that drive alignment are typically voiced by organizational leaders. Employees also pass along their interpretations of corporate stories and supplement them with personal stories. Organizational leaders who do not align value laden stories with the organizational mission and objectives, will alienate all or part of their employee base. If trust and alienation is great enough, the employees will create a corporate mythology that further undermines the espoused formal corporate culture.

Business cultures undergo continous change, requiring shifts and even an overhaul of corporate values and behaviors in order to compete successfully. Stories also need to undergo re-evaluation when changes are made to the corporate mission, objectives, policies, or even when significant process changes are introduced.

Do your stories foster alignment or do they send mixed messages to the employees?

Stories rich in character and entailment may carry multiple messages. For example a simple fairy tale such as Beauty and the Beast may send a very negative message to individuals or groups of individuals who do not hold traditional beliefs. Are football and baseball stories used to convey messages to a mixed audience when trying to build a more inclusive environment? Are you a global culture? If so, do your stories carry the same meaning in all cultures?

What stories are shared by the employees? Do employees share stories of being recognized for their work or team accomplishments? Do they retell corporate stories to new employees to help reinforce values? Or do they pass along stories that undercut the voice of their corporate leaders?

If you would like to learn more, please contact me!

Partial List of Publications

Heart Hound Stories

Effects of Leadership Behaviors and Communication Channels on Global Intra-team Relationships (paperback available on Amazon).

Cutter Consortium

Institutionalizing Governance in Complex Global Organizations (co-author with Dr. Patricia Fletcher)

IT Contributions to Institutionalizing Value-Based Governance: Three Steps Toward Unification (co-author, Dr. Patricia Fletcher)

A Contrarian View of Employee Resistance to Change

Coaching: The core skill required for 21st century leaders

 

1 ‘finland’ translates to ‘suomi’ in finnish.

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