What’s Your Story?

Our stories define us. We relate to each other with our stories. In our stories, we are parents, single or married or divorced, sports enthusiasts, working or looking for work or retired, etc. The collection of many stories serves as our gyroscope. They keep us centered and grounded.

Organizations also have stories. Not just the ones on the web, but the ones inside, in the culture. And they likewise serve as the organization’s gyroscope. That’s why organization change is so challenging. Because to successfully change the organization, we have to change the gyroscope, the stories, the cultural expectation. We do that by changing the stories.

What are the stories that underpin your company? What are the stories that guide the culture in your department? Are they stories of courage, of greatness? Of going above and beyond? Of developing a new product or service that made a difference in people’s lives? If not, what would it take to get some?

If your organization has become mostly ho-hum, same-old same-old, let me ask you a question. What would happen if you called a organization-wide or department-wide meeting and asked each person to come back in one week with one idea about how you all could use your organization’s products and services to make a substantial difference in people’s lives. Then the group will pick the top 1-2 ideas and start to implement them. And then watch what happens. Watch what happens to your stories, your gyroscope. Watch what happens to the energy level and the excitement of your people.

(Of course, you should get top management’s buy-in before you start this journey. But, if done properly, it should require minimal investment.)

Please let me know what happens.

Gary Langenwalter

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