Storytelling That Drives Bold Change
When tackling urgent organizational problems, leaders usually work hard to identify underlying causes, tap a wide range of knowledge, and experiment with solutions. But once they’ve mapped out a plan, there’s one more crucial step they must take: crafting a story so compelling that it will harness their organizations’ energy and direct it toward change. Drawing on decades of experience helping senior executives lead large-scale transformations, Harvard professor Frei and leadership coach Morriss present an effective way to approach that challenge. They outline four key steps: (1) Understand your story so well that you can describe it in simple terms, (2) honor the past, (3) articulate a persuasive mandate for change, and (4) lay out a rigorous and optimistic path forward. Next you need to get others behind your story. Emotions can bring it to life and help drive employees’ commitment to change. You also should promote your narrative aggressively. Share it wherever the opportunity arises—in speeches, interviews, town hall meetings, one-on-ones—and incorporate it into different formats, from videos to images to guidebooks.