Interview: How to Use Stories Throughout the Change Process

In my December 2013 interview with Emma Murphy of The Change Source, I was able to weave new information and client examples not found in Chapter 16 of Business Storytelling for Dummies into my responses to her questions:

  1. What’s causing more and more organizations to embrace storytelling within their change communications?
  2. How can we get to know key stakeholders better through stories?
  3. How can we use storytelling to influence and motivate employees when trying to implement change?
  4. What should we consider when communicating our vision for change?
  5. Tell us what you mean by creating a “change is possible” story.
  6. Once we start to implement the change how can we capitalize on stories about people who are already embodying the change?
  7. Give us some tips on how to structure the stories we share.

Highlighted in this podcast is content on …

  • How story moves a conversation from sense-making to meaning-making.
  • Why pull approaches (story prompts, for example) are as critical as push approaches to story.
  • How to construct story prompts.
  • How to heighten pain and urgency in stakeholders early on through future story.
  • When to use “ain’t it awful” stories.
  • How both dream stories and future stories can be used to communicate the vision of a change and outline the buckets of work that need to be done to make the change a reality.
  • A type of story a leader can tell to get employees off the fence to embrace a change.

Where else can storytelling approaches be used in a change effort? Tell me about an experience you’ve had where story has made a key difference in a change. Alternatively, tell me about a change where story wasn’t used but you believe it could have made a big difference in the initiative.

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Lori offers practical, results-driven business storytelling training, keynotes, and consulting. For 26 years, she's also advised enterprises on strategy and organizational change. Listen to Lori speak about the "Power of Story"