Good Organizations are Storytellers. Great Organizations are Storydoers.

Discussions about story and storytelling are pretty fashionable today. On the one hand, as a lifelong advocate for the power of story, I find this very encouraging. For all organizations, having a story and knowing that story are crucial steps to achieving success. On the other hand, I’m worried that too many organizations think that telling their story through advertising is enough. It’s not.

In fact, those that think this way do so at their own risk because there is a new kind of organization on the rise that uses story in a more powerful way — and they are run more efficiently and profitably as a result.

In my new book, True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business, I call these new organizations storydoing organizations because they advance their narrative through action, not communication. Storydoing organizations — Red Bull and TOMS shoes, for example — emphasize the creation of compelling and useful experiences — new products, new services, and new tools that advance their narrative by lighting up the medium of people. What I mean by this is that when people encounter a storydoing organization they often want to tell all their friends about it. Storydoing organizations create fierce loyalty and evangelism in their customers. Their stories are told primarily via word of mouth, and are amplified by social media tools.

So how do you know a storydoing organization when you see one? These are the primary characteristics:

  1. They have a story
  2. The story is about a larger ambition to make the world or people’s lives better
  3. The story is understood and cared about by senior leadership outside of marketing
  4. That story is being used to drive tangible action throughout the company: product development, HR policies, compensation, etc.
  5. These actions add back up to a cohesive whole
  6. Customers and partners are motivated to engage with the story and are actively using it to advance their own stories

Storydoing organizations have a feeling of authenticity and humanity about them that is lost in many traditional organizations today. It makes them magnetic.

Storydoing organizations are on to something very compelling. Storydoing can be learned. And once learned, it can be replicated and spread from one part of your organization to another.

Are you a storydoing organization? Here’s a tool that will help you discover that answer.

Read the original article by Ty Montague here.

Read more about storydoing here.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ty Montague

Ty Montague

Ty Montague is the author of True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business and a founder of co:collective, a consultancy that helps clients develop their strategy and brand story using the principles of storydoing.

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Recent Comments
In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

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