Storytelling and organisational communications | S3 E18

First published: 13 September, 2022

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Engaging Internal Comms Series 3
Engaging Internal Comms Series 3
Storytelling and organisational communications | S3 E18

Storytelling and organisational communications

Many organisations refer to storytelling. They talk about their narrative when they are communicating, either externally or internally, and they talk about how they are using stories to bring things to life. We’ve always been interested in stories, it’s integral to the work that we do at The Big Picture People. We find that telling visual stories and linking them to a conversational process helps organisations to really explore what their values are, what their strategies are, what their purpose is with their employees in a way that unlocks conversations that traditional approaches don’t normally deliver. So we wanted to explore storytelling in more detail and we reached out to someone who is an expert in the field, someone who’s been using storytelling as a professional within major organisations for almost 30 years now.

In this podcast episode we’re going to be looking at storytelling and how storytelling can be used to bring to life a number of different situations. One situation is where we want to reinforce our values and our sense of identity within the organisation to help people understand our sense of continuity. That’s the first type of story that we’re going to be exploring in this conversation. We’re also going to be discussing novelty stories when we’re talking about things that are new and different, about innovation within our organisation, the type of innovation that we’re striving for and the attitudes and culture that we want around.

And then the third type of story is about transition. How do we transform our organisation? What does good look like when it comes to change and transformation? And throughout all of this, we’re looking at the value of stories in terms of creating social alignment within organisations.

Now, all of that might sound very theoretical and very highbrow, perhaps, but the practical approach that our guest takes to storytelling is really refreshing. And at the end of the interview, he offers some great free resources, that he has for anyone who wants to build storytelling into the techniques that they use within their organisation, but more importantly, into their culture of communications within the organisation too. So we hope you find this interview really enlightening, we genuinely enjoyed this conversation, which you probably tell from the nature of the conversation that we had.

Guest profile

David Hutchens is an author and learning designer who creates solutions for The Coca-Cola Company, Wal-Mart, IBM, GE, Accenture, L’Oreal, Dannon, Nike, and others.

Today he helps leaders in organisations all around the world to find, craft, and tell their most urgent stories for the purpose of creating shared meaning, preserving culture, disseminating learning, and speeding change in organisations.

David is also a creator of the Learning Fables — a book series that uses narrative and metaphor to illustrate principles of organisational learning. With titles that include “Outlearning the Wolves” and “Shadows of the Neanderthal,” the popular books have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Useful links:

Related episode of the Engaging Internal Comms podcast: https://thebigpicturepeople.co.uk/blog/podcast/the-importance-of-language-in-change-comms-s3-e3/

David’s LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidhutchens/

You are welcome to contact David directly for Story Deck cards at: David@DavidHutchens.com

You can explore The Storytelling Leader — the programme, the new book, and free resources to develop your stories at www.StorytellingLeader.com

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