The art and craft of storytelling is gradually making its way into the business world. Once used primarily by novelists and moviemakers as a tool to connect plot and character with an audience, it is now being seen as an innovative strategic tool for companies to better connect with their customers.
The Harvard Business Review has published several stories on the subject, the most recent being this months article by Hollywood executive Peter Guber entitled "The Four Truths of the Storyteller." As a filmmaker and executive, Guber is in the business of telling stories. While he realizes the impact of storytelling on box office success, he also recognizes its power as a way to sway business audiences. As a salesperson, you'll have more success if you can tell a story in which the product is the hero. As a manager, storytelling can be used as a way of explaining how short term sacrifice can lead to long term business success.
A well crafted story and emotional narrative can also help CEO's attract investors and partners, set strategic goals and inspire employees and customers.
Whether in the entertainment or business world, stories have an incredible ability to connect with audiences in a way that more traditional business practices cannot. Market research and strategic planning are always important, but to establish a strong bond with customers requires the deep impact that storytelling can offer an audience.
How has your company used storytelling to connect with customers? Do you think more companies will be hiring people well versed in the fine art of storytelling? Do you see CEO's gradually becoming CSO's - Chief Storytelling Officers?