I see it everywhere—in clients, friends, even myself: a feeling of being overwhelmed by information. Email, social media, phone calls, coming at them 24 hours a day, every day.
“Did you get my email?”
“Who knows? I get 300 of them a day.”
One client sums it up like this: “I’m being crushed by all this information. It’s gotten so bad that in the morning I dread turning on my computer and seeing how many new messages I’ve gotten. I don’t need any more information. What I need is meaning, context—something that helps me make sense of my world.”
What helps create more meaning? A well-crafted story, grounded in experience. Remember that stories don’t have to be long. Stories can do more than entertain; they inform, educate and inspire. The right story at the right time can change your world for the better. They can help you stand out in our era of too much information.
Come and practice telling your business story at my next workshop on June 30th. Only 2 slots left before the workshop is filled. Grab them here. (http://june-find-your-story.eventbrite.com)
More than 60% of the companies originally listed on the Fortune 500 have vanished. All these casualties of capitalism have one thing in common: they lost their story, then they lost market share.
Just a few years ago Ford was in a pickle.
Ford has been one of the most successful, iconic businesses in the United States. It’s been building automobiles for almost 100 years and its brand is recognized around the world. Yet in 2003 and ‘04 pundits were talking about the real possibility that Ford could go out of business. Ford’s old story of building tough trucks and SUV’s at the exclusion of smaller, more fuel efficient cars was not working. The company had alienated many younger customers, especially women. People were turning to other carmakers like Toyota and Honda. These companies were telling stories that appealed to a younger, more diverse base.
So Ford did something courageous it hired a new CEO by the name of Alan Mulally.
Alan was not an auto industry insider. He came from aerospace — with a fresh new story. His story was simple: “We are going to build highly efficient, high quality cars and trucks. They will be safe, innovative, fun to drive.” He also borrowed several billion dollars from private sources before the financial collapse of 2008/09. This put Ford ahead of its US competition and the company followed through with new products that resonated with Mulally’s new story. After years of losing market share, Ford became profitable again in late 2009.
Companies that have survived and thrived have powerful, vibrant narratives that give them a strong sense of community and identity. These stories make people care and understand what these companies really stand for. If you want a business that will last, start with a great story. If you want to make sure your current venture survives, fix the story first.
What’s your business story? Are you making people care? Are you creating community? Do people know what your company stands for?
Join our community of storytellers on June 30th to breathe more life into your business! Sign up by June 15th (just 3 days left!!) and get the early bird discount.
Sign up here. (http://june-find-your-story.eventbrite.com/)
There are only two weeks left to get your early bird discount. Sign up now!
Recently Lynda Resnick, the CEO of a two billion dollar conglomerate whose brands include Fiji Water, Teleﬂora, and POM Wonderful, stated the principle behind her success. “I donʼt do companies that donʼt have a story. If they donʼt have a story, they donʼt have a business.”
Sign up here: http://june-find-your-story.eventbrite.com/
In this four hour, interactive workshop you will learn to tell a story which…
- …makes others care about whatʼs important to you;
- …differentiates yourself from your competition;
- …speaks to the challenges that face your clients, manager or direct reports;
- …transforms trying to convince people into having them see new possibilities;
- …enrolls new clients and co-workers.
Past participants in this workshop have included attorneys, accountants, coaches, managers, engineers, entertainment executives, ofﬁcers of non-proﬁts, entrepreneurs, and even actual rocket scientists. It can help you, too!