What Is Your Company’s Story?

Many a times, I have discussed the issue of “image” with HR people and leaders. Companies try hard to build a strong image in the minds of the existing and potential employees.

And, I often wonder, how and where is this image formed and transformed? Internal branding? External advertisements? There are several, several factors which affect the image. But, I believe that the internal conversations about the company is what guides this image – the dialogue employees have with one another – the vocabulary people use when discussing internal issues.

Focus on the stories people tell internally about your company. Think what needs to be done to “change” the stories to your company’s advantage.

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14 thoughts on “What Is Your Company’s Story?

  1. Pingback: Change Management is Changing the Stories People Tell | HR india

  2. True.

    Armed forces are an example of a story telling culture. Stories of valour as a motivation tool and also a historic reference point. Each division or battalion has its own stories and culture that member take pride in.

    Perhaps there is something to learn from their approach..

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      • In its current form and the way enterprise technology is deployed mostly, I think it inhibits story-telling. To me, technology is just supporting the “assembly line” so far.

        Come to think of it – “technology” itself can be one of the sad stories!

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  3. Great post. I wrote an angle on this on Compensation Cafe recently — your company’s EVP and how to make it “Different” to stand out from all the other EVPs that sound so similar. My answer: through your company culture. You can no more proclaim a culture into being than you can mandate changes to it, but you can encourage and recognize the behaviors of employees that contribute to the culture you want.

    Much more on that and how it affects the EVP in the Comp Cafe post here: http://www.compensationcafe.com/2010/07/index.html

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  4. Pingback: Changing Stories | State of Mind Coaching & Training

  5. Pingback: Friday Shout Out 2010-07-16 | State of Mind Coaching & Training

  6. Great questions and very appropriate post about story telling in the military. I’d argue that every company has a story and by understanding it you can influence and effect the culture. Story telling is in our human nature (think back to man in the caves!) and is a powerful way to engage and influence understanding and attitudes. Great first steps in evolving any company’s culture.
    Check our Peter Guber’s article in HBR about the art of story telling : http://hbr.org/2007/12/the-four-truths-of-the-storyteller/ar/1

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  7. Great post, Abhishek. External comms always take precedent over internal branding most times because that’s the obvious revenue generator.

    But would you agree that valuable internal conversations can only be triggered by a vision or a company’s ambition? I’ve recently learned a truth that not all companies have an outright communicated ambition or goal.

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    • Absolutely Isman! In so many client situations, I have seen that external communications takes the driver’s seat. While it can lead to revenues or meeting goals in the near-term, the long term will perhaps always be guided by norms, values…culture.

      Internal conversations are happening everywhere. The challenge is how to arrive at a common positive denominator. Be it about goals, processes, policies, behaviours, leaders, managers.

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      • having lived a career in external comms and then adding an internal comm’s business to my remit recently i’m shocked that the degree of strategic thinking, creativity, innovation (and, frankly great story telling) are missing in the internal comms world. The disciplines of good marketing, applied to a company’s employee base can be a competitive advantage…. look no further than the transformation in political communications. Add sound marketing principles insight, strategy, creativity and innovation (technology, social media, etc) and BANG: Obama!

        rob quish
        JWT INSIDE

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