Storytelling has been around as long as the hills from days of yore when people sat around their fires to chew the fat to the posting of daily events on Facebook.
It is no surprise that with the transparency now generated, and expected, around how we live with the onset of 24/7 social media and 360 degrees web exposure, there would be an obvious overspill in how we work. The Millennial generation who have shared their thoughts, opinions, actions and even meals, since they are old enough to swipe left and right are used to telling their stories to those they know and even those they don’t.
So, it is no surprise that as they enter the workforce they still want to tell their stories – be it in the workplace than at home, and be it with their work colleagues, rather than their family and friends.
As the personal stories spill out of every company, organisations are beginning to realise that the corporate stories need to be talked about too. The background to who we are, what we do and why we do it, and most importantly why we do it differently, is key. The raison d'être of a company (“purpose”) needs to be explained if we are going to take our clients on our customer journey to fulfilment (becoming an advocate of our business). They need to buy into our ethos, our values, our way of doing things. And to do this they need to understand us, to hear our voice and to understand what has shaped us to get to the corporate place we are in. That comes from storytelling.
For us at Antelope, this is part of the territory that we find exciting to explore with our clients. Not just finding out, for example, who set up the company, but what drove them to set it up? Not just the year it was formed, but what was happening during that time? What was the political climate? Did this shape their values? Was it the lack of opportunities for women that made them to strive to be really gender equal? Was it a personal frustration that led to their innovation? These are the stories that excite and ignite us. And we believe excite and ignite their potential customers.
Delving into the recesses of a company to find these stories and working out which stories are of interest to what audiences, are what make us tick. Taking the stories and retelling them in a language that generates customer engagement, employee engagement and media engagement is what we offer to our clients.
Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has a route from their past to their present. What many don’t realise is what might be interesting to others in that journey. What might resonate or help others who are still on that journey or who might need to learn from your experiences, your discovery on the way. Sometimes it is the simpler things, or sometimes it is the complex things and simplifying them through shared experience and learnings.
We might not sit around the fire telling stories much anymore but sharing experiences is still fundamentally one of the most important things we do as humans. Acknowledging this and using your stories in your business is one of the most important things you can do.