Myth busting the hero’s journey | S5 E5

First published: 20 February, 2024

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Engaging Internal Comms Series 5
Engaging Internal Comms Series 5
Myth busting the hero's journey | S5 E5

Myth busting the hero’s journey | S5 E5

This is a bonus episode where we share a full show from our friends at “Infernal Communication“. This is from Infernal Communication’s 2nd season, where they take a deeper look at the wild little fires communicators have to put out every day. Their hosts, Lottie Bazley and Brian Tomlinson of Staffbase, bring together experts, authors and even a former private eye – for fresh perspectives that will soothe the burn of your latest communication breakdown. They’ve got new ways to look at the hero’s journey, and the art of the apology. They’ll talk about how to have difficult conversations, and the best way to bounce back from embarrassment by seizing control of your own narrative. This season they’re focusing on the depth and breadth of what it means to be a storyteller – because they know: Communication is hard. Being a communications professional is even harder. So why not let Infernal Communications make your job easier and probably a little more fun.

The Hero’s Journey

The hero’s journey is a familiar tale. It’s an archetype that follows The Hero on a quest where challenges are faced, insights are gained, after which the hero returns home transformed. That’s it. Simple, and very well used (see The Matrix, StarWars, The Lion King, etc).

Join host Lottie Bazley as she takes us on a journey with a new storyline. This one includes flipping this well-known narrative on its head to find different perspectives, and rejecting the all encompassing confines of the hero’s journey.

Lottie speaks with author and academic Emily Hauser, as well as Professor of Classical and Early Mediterranean Studies Joel Christensen. Listen in for their takes on how heroic most heroes really are (not very), and more importantly, what we lose when we ignore other narratives and what we gain when we invite the background characters to center stage.

Main Insights and Lessons

Throughout the episode, the hosts uncovered several key insights:

  • Storytelling is Universal: The hero’s journey is a pattern that can be adapted to any context, including the corporate environment.
  • Engagement through Narrative: By framing internal communications as a story, with employees as the protagonists, we can foster a stronger connection and sense of purpose.
  • Characters Drive Connection: Well-crafted characters in our narratives help employees relate to the messages, seeing parts of themselves in the story.
  • Academic Foundations: Understanding the historical and cultural significance of storytelling can enrich our approach to crafting internal communications.
  • Fresh Perspectives: Retelling classic stories can provide new insights and inspiration for how we communicate within our organizations.


In this episode, we’ve seen that the art of storytelling is not just for entertainment—it’s a vital tool for engaging and uniting people, even within the corporate sphere. By harnessing the power of the hero’s journey, we can create compelling narratives that resonate with our teams and drive our organisations forward.

I hope you’ve found these insights as enlightening as I have. Storytelling in internal communications is more than a technique; it’s a journey in itself, one that can lead to a more cohesive and motivated workforce. Remember, to subscribe to “Infernal Communication“.

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