It’s story time: Why you need a strategic narrative

Next time you’re at a dinner party, we want you to ask your friends this crucial question: “What are you watching?” 

It’s always useful to have an excellent list of binge-worthy shows on hand – and you may ask this question on the regular anyway. But the next time you ask, we want you to go further.

Watch your friends carefully as they answer. Do you see how their eyes light up telling you about their latest find? They’re excited for you and the joy you’re about to experience. They’re thrilled to send you on an emotional journey with characters and a show they love. The fun, the escapism, the cathartic relief. Stories of all kinds are meaningful and influential.

Most importantly, stories create connections. At Jack, we firmly believe in using a strategic narrative to connect your business and its stakeholders during significant change. Your narrative is a story that unites and guides everyone as you build a new vision. With a strong strategic narrative you’ll get stuff done – cohesively, on time and with purpose.

Key elements of a strategic narrative

When you frame your business vision in a narrative, you’re developing a story that employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders can connect with. Many of our clients are facing big changes, such as an organizational restructure or a new business direction with complexities. 

Business leaders are looking for ways to:

  • Communicate change clearly and with impact.
  • Collect input and strengthen buy-in from stakeholders while maintaining trust.
  • Create new fool-proof processes for their businesses to achieve their goals.

A strategic narrative is a carefully planned story that will guide your business through change. When creating your narrative, we suggest you:

  1. Craft a compelling and meaningful story. People are drawn to narratives with a beginning, middle and end. Your strategic narrative should describe who you are, where you’ve been and where you’re headed.
  2. Make your story human to create relationships and buy-in. Why? The Harvard Business Review reports that “our brains think of companies not as objects but as people.” Create a real relationship with your stakeholders by being authentic, caring and reciprocal. 
  3. Collaborate with stakeholders as you develop your narrative. The idea is to work towards a shared purpose as a team. Get input and approval from all areas of your business to make sure your narrative is clear and accurate. 

Your strategic narrative is a foundational piece to inspire change at your company. As you build support from your teams, you’ll unite and align your vision. You’ll create a story that leaders and teams can believe in and consistently refer back to as they work towards change. 

Is a strategic narrative really necessary?

It is! Without a strategic narrative, you’re walking yourself into inefficiencies, confusion and wasted time. A disconnect between your vision and implementation will slow your hard work to a halt. Developed early, your strategic narrative will align your stakeholders and move your project along smoothly.

So slow down and take your time. Was Game of Thrones written in a day? Nope. (But we’re a little less sure about House of the Dragons.)

If you need help creating a strategic narrative as your business heads into change, let’s talk.

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