Developing an inclusive storytelling culture is a tremendously timely way of spanning pay grades, job titles, levels of education and generations. On behalf of creating remarkable and enduring client-focused outcomes.
Yet, most organizations and associations lump storytelling under the advertising and promotional umbrella. And, often, these activities are outsourced to folks who are not as invested as you are in retaining not only your customers, but also your employees.
Consider these two key benefits of developing a more diverse and inclusive storytelling culture in your organization or association.
First, creating and leveraging an inclusive storytelling culture becomes a key component of your human capital strategy.
Why? Because when storytelling captures employee stakeholder voices from across the organization, customers become more invested in you. Instead of telling polished stories, which justify buying decisions, you tell real stories from the trenches. Because you focus on small successes which unite everyone, on behalf of better serving each other. And when employee stakeholders understand the value of better serving each other, that value is reflected in the quality of customer-focused solutions they create.
As a result, the stories you tell are familiar to both your employees and your customers. Because these stories are co-created and reflect their own familiar, collective voices.
Next, an inclusive storytelling culture connects the dots across your own organization and into your customers’ organizations.
A phenomenon which continues to strike me as wasted opportunity is the level of post-beta project IoT (Internet of Things) abandonment in manufacturing organizations. I read articles and listen to webinars and hear speakers talking about digital transformation of the IoT workplace. Yet, as the story goes, to successfully implement digital solutions, STEM professionals and left brain thinkers must cross their professional chasms. When enlisting the help of employee stakeholders, they are not comfortable working across professional disciplines and levels of education different from their own.
Frequently, these end-user stakeholders hold the keys to the type of practical and cost-effective problem-solving which retains customers, post-sale. Yet, their voices are excluded from how the story eventually is told. Because their story is not products, services and customer acquisition-focused.
A less than inclusive storytelling culture produces stories which sound too good to be true to customers in search of post-sale customer experiences contributing to their success.
Perhaps the biggest question to ask yourselves is whether, or not, customers and employees actually believe in and trust the stories your organization or association tells. Because it is hard to read the label when you are inside the bottle. However, your customers have no trouble at all reading and interpreting what your cultural storytelling label is saying to them. Do you have an inclusive storytelling culture or not? Because the story you tell may reinforce post-sale customer abandonment because you leave out the employees responsible for retaining customers.
Ready to take the next steps in building an inclusive storytelling culture? Here is what to do.
Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Searching for a one-on-one catalyst to get you unstuck? Engage me to present a One Millimeter Mindset ™ program! Delivered virtually or in-person. Contact me here.
Babette Ten Haken | Change Catalyst | Purpose-Driven Professional Innovation | Cross-Functional Team Leadership | Trust-Based Client Retention | In Person & Virtual Speaker, Consultant, Coach, Author |
Babette Ten Haken is a refreshingly extroverted STEM professional and skeptical thinker focused on intentional innovation. She helps people, teams and organizations make hard calls when designing products, services, careers and cultures. These are not easy conversations to have. Her ability to translate cross-functional conversations between left-brain and right-brain thinkers provides different pathways for behavior, response, insight and collaboration. Think of the strategic business and human capital value of moving beyond avoidance or group-think, together. Instead, let your creativity, critical thinking, and leadership skills co-develop together, one millimeter at a time. Her playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here. Image source: Adobe Stock