Motivate others by creating and sharing your stories of collaboration

We are our stories.   Stories motivate us, for better or worse.

tell stories

source: drawingoutideas.com

Creating the story of your organization or community begs the question… what will you include in your story?  And, how will you connect the dots, the discrete events in your organization or community’s life into some sort of collaborative whole?   The challenge doubles when we are co-creating and collaborating with others.

Here’s my current lens on how to explain and approach the story challenge.

Understand that the story is in your mind

Which is to say, anything can be included in the story.  The story is in your imagination.

the gutter

Scott McCloud in his wonderful book Understanding Comics talks about the “gutter” in a comic strip, the place between the panels, where you, the reader, are invited to participate, with your imagination. You combine the individual panels with your imagination to create a story.

Create your organization’s story by including network activity

These days, the conversation is everywhere.   How many conversations, and the valuable content they hold, are being ignored in your corporate story?

As an organization, you want to capture some of those network conversations, the “white spaces”, largely unstructured, they contain valuable sentiment, to build a story around.  Plus, its a good way to bust silos!  (are your marketing people really learning from your engineers, and vice versa?)

bust silos

source: drawingoutideas.com

Include messages from emails, tweets and other social media.   Draw from online chat; the water cooler stuff.  It may breathe life into your static reports, statistics, and the like.

This is the challenge of every Chief Information Officer.  “The network is the new company.” (Harold Jarche)

Make it easy for your community to share their stories

If you are facilitating community and your resources are strapped, ask your community for help.   That’s what NetSquared does.  Get them to create stories.  And, share and promote those stories, in a curator role.

Story sharing works in most any context; Patients Like Me is a for-profit company that enables community members to create and share their stories.

Bring creatives into your fold

And, if you are feeling a deficit on the story creation front, consider hiring a creative to help frame your organization or community story.  Or, entertain proposals, from creatives, to tell your story.   In my town, the Mustard Seed and HeroWork co-created something special.

herowork

Stories connect us

Stories connect us; to ourselves,  and to each other.  A well-told story communicates vision, authenticates our experiences, and makes it easy for people to feel good about the organization and/or community, and what it stands for.

Got a good story to share?

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