If you are already know you’re interested in taking the Webinar, Using Strategic Narratives to Accelerate Organizational Change on September 12th from 1 – 2 PM EDT, you can accelerate right now and sign up at the Association for Strategic Planning HERE. Don’t forget your 25% Discount for being a reader of this blog — use the code StrategicNarrative25% at the registration checkout to claim it.
If you aren’t sure yet, please read on …
Do any of these situations sound like yours?
- “The demographic we serve is changing and we know we need to change to serve them and keep them engaged.”
- “No one here is ready to adapt to the new technology rollout. We’re actually somewhat afraid.”
- “We are growing in a highly competitive landscape, and aren’t yet sure where to allocate our limited resources to ensure growth.”
- “Our consumers today want very different services than ten years ago. We need a new technology approach and to re-organize in order to meet their needs.”
- “We give lip service to diversity, but we need to do better. Our external stakeholders are beginning to demand it.”
They are all statements I’ve heard in the last year in discussions with clients and potential clients. They head international corporations and community organizations. Despite their differences though, all shared one characteristic: A need to influence people inside and outside of their organizations in order to generate transformational change. Even–or especially–when technology is the focus, the ability to change comes down to the ability to shape the story that stakeholders are telling themselves in a new way.
All kinds of organizations today need a new narrative. Not a new set of goals. Not a new plan. A new foundational understanding of the reality in which they are operating, a new understanding of what behaviors produce success, and a new menu of stories, rituals, processes, policies, incentives and disincentives through which to transmit those behaviors.
Yet knowing we need “a new narrative” doesn’t necessarily translate into knowing the practical steps that can be taken to create one. Because strategic narrative isn’t simply a story we tell, it is a drama that organizational stakeholders enact. It is therefore a critical aspect of the strategy development and execution process.
As an aside, the reason I use the framework of “narrative” is because there is powerful evidence from neuroscience and cognitive science that tells us that we humans organize our reality in narrative form, as an account of events unfolding in real time. The stories we believe about reality drive our behavior, which in turn shapes our empirical reality. In order to change reality, we really do have to change our stories.
The webinar I’m offering on September 12th offers practical steps for taking this ephemeral insight and putting it into practice at the level of organizational strategy.
They aren’t easy steps or fast ones, but they are concrete ways in which leaders and senior managers can incorporate the recognition that focusing on what stakeholders believe is happening is a critical factor in driving change.
Some of the topics I’ll cover in the 1 hour webinar:
- The cognitive science behind the narrative framework
- How to incorporate strategic narrative into existing planning processes
- Why it matters to understand the story of the past
- Mapping the narrative “eco-system” to uncover the best–and worst–routes for transmitting a new narrative
- Getting a 360 degree view of the organizational narrative
- Techniques for articulating a preferred new narrative
- The importance of phasing out the old
- Ways to shape narrative conditions – how to nudge people into new stories
I hope you’ll join me on September 12. You can sign up for the webinar at this LINK. As a reader of this blog, you’ll also receive 25% off the registration price. Use the promotional code StrategicNarrative25% at checkout.
If you have any questions, you can contact me by email at Amy@StrategicNarrativeInstitute.com.