A clear vision helps companies to succeed. Like a mission statement, a company’s story is a company’s vision. A story encapsulates core values. It is what the company represents to its employees and what they project to the public. Unlike a mission statement, however, a story is a living experience. It goes deeper than a mission statement because it links company goals and aspirations with universal themes. It creates not just a mission, but a vision of the company’s purpose in the minds of all those who participate. It is not a business school ‘vision’ that is a euphemism for ‘roadmap.’ A story builds a holistic image of the company that delivers the necessary elements for success—deep understanding and commitment. A story elevates ‘stakeholder buy-in’ to new levels by creating commitment at all levels of the brain: intuitive, emotional, and rational.
Developing the company story means peeling back the layers to understand how people inside and outside of the organization really see your company and its purpose—not just how they think they are supposed to see it. Or. worse, how you don’t want them to see it. Many companies have aspirations that don’t match what others see and feel, where the mission is lip service not a way of life or an emotional commitment. This disparity limits growth potential and creates an unrewarding working environment and company culture.
Going through the process to find your company story has several benefits.
- It highlights the disparities among internal and external perceptions and beliefs.
- It pinpoints intervention steps that will bring people together to support a single vision.
- It creates a common language for communication internally.
- It makes it possible for people to support and engage the company’s goals because stories allow people to add personal meaning authentic experience of a company.
- It provides a basis for a stronger organizational culture and more coherent and meaningful interactions with the customer.
We live in a connected, media-rich world that is blurring the boundaries between traditionally distinct groups: customers, employees, managers, sales, and service. Your employees and customers are public representative for your company. Every individual in a company is a transmedia link to your customer, telling the company story wherever they go. A story transmits core values at different levels that can be easily understood across educational, demographic, and cultural differences. Therefore, unlike a mission statement, a story creates a coherent basis for communication that reflects your company’s intent and purpose. Creating a story moves businesses beyond traditional marketing, simultaneously creating a team within the company and a collaborative partnership with customers.
The workshops and focus groups highlight discrepancies between stated company missions and employee and customer understandings. Once identified, we work with companies to close any gaps and build a coherent vision. In addition to use in marketing strategies, exploring a core story gives companies a new perspective than can energize teams and reveal new and more effective ways to reach customers.
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