When you hear the word “storytelling,” does it make you a bit uneasy?
Storytelling involves emotion, feelings, uncertainty—the opposite of everything a business is supposed to be about, right?
“Numbers, hard data, results, ROI!” It’s a constant refrain. Executives want certainty, consistency, and risk mitigation.
There’s only one problem: Certainty, consistency, and risk mitigation are boring! Stories involve uncertainty, suspense, and drama.
How do you bridge the gap? Where is the common ground?
Here it is—this is key: Stories make a difference in people’s lives.
A good business is adding value to make a difference in people’s lives, too.
As a former reporter, I’ve seen the difference stories make.
My first story assignment at my first newspaper job in Williston, North Dakota, was to profile a mom who couldn’t find housing for her family. Her husband was working on a drilling rig and the city was in the midst of a raging oil boom (as it is again today).
I began the piece with a four-paragraph story about her and her homeless children, and the next day a local homeowner tracked her down and offered her a room in her house. If it weren’t for the story, nothing would have happened.