Using Future Stories to Translate Strategy into Action

Oh me, oh my. At the last minute on a Friday night, I found myself on a flight from Chicago O’Hare to Phoenix. Which meant a middle seat in coach class. Seated to my left at the window was a woman in her early 30s. I learned she’d just secured a corporate communications job in Chicago with a firm that has numerous offices in the US; she was going to see her boyfriend. Out of curiosity, I asked, “Tell me about one of the top challenges you face in your role.” Her answer came swiftly: “There’s one that overshadows everything else. Translating strategy from corporate to all those who do the work. We aren’t getting results fast enough at the top. There’s this gap in communications. Everyone’s really frustrated by it. We’ve even put together a SWAT Team to address it.”

Sound familiar?

I asked if she’d heard of using future stories to translate strategy into action. She hadn’t. I wasn’t surprised. In the business storytelling field, only recently have future stories and their numerous personal and organizational applications gained momentum. Within strategy, these stories range from scenario stories, to “did we make the right choice” stories, dream stories, and vision stories.

To read the rest of the article, which was published in the October 2015 issue of Strategic Edge, the newsletter of the Association for Strategic Planning, click here.

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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"