Since we’ve already looked at WHY you should have a corporate story and we’ve looked at the elements that make up a good corporate story I thought it might be helpful to those who find themselves stuck in the desert of creative drought to look at how get started creating your corporate story.
Remember we said that this could apply to a company, a team, a small group, or even a family.
I’ve had some interesting conversations with folks around the notion of applying this to family and to me it really speaks to the notion of legacy. How do you want to be remembered? Which is where we start…
Step one in scaling the dunes towards creating your corporate story is to Start at the End.
Imagine your group, whether it be a company of your family, has, for some mysterious reason, been removed from this worlds realm. A group of celebrants have gathered to remember your group fondly, sad that you have left, made curious by the mystery, but gathered in fond remembrance. What do they say?
- “They really went out of their way for their customers”
- “They really had some mind-blowingly-creative products.”
- “They really were an amazingly generous family”
- “They really knew how to invest in friendships”
You can see how these kinds of statements lead toward a good corporate story. They lend themselves to the kind of short descriptions from which good stories are built. Phrases like: serve customers – anticipate needs, packaged creativity, ask how we can help, build lasting relationships.
Step two in creating your story is to Make it Personal.
By simply putting a phrase like “We’re the people who…” in front of any of those statements above you start to get a defining point in your story. This is a subtle but important difference.
Growing up my dad never told the three of us boys, “I want you to be well rounded individuals” or “I’d like you to experience a lot of things”, instead he encouraged us to be renaissance men. Try out the feel of that. Compare “I’m someone who is well rounded.” which is a description, to “I am a renaissance man.” which is a definition.
Which leads us to step three. As you’re refining your story Make it Definitive not descriptive.You aren’t looking for acute semantic accuracy here. You’re looking for something that feels like a fit. “I’m well rounded” just feels like a product label description. “I’m a renaissance man” almost sounds like a song title!
- So first I’m thinking through what the people gathered in celebration say to describe my group and creating solid phrases from their description.
- Next I’m making that into a personal statement.
- Then I’m refining that statement so that it is a definition and not a description.
If your family, or company, moved out of the neighborhood tomorrow and for some mysterious reason lost all contact with the neighbors, when they gathered a year from now to remember you what would they say?