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By Evelyn Clark

The speed of change in today’s world is so disorienting, people are struggling to maintain their equilibrium and sense of well-being. In times of chaos, and especially when basic needs are threatened, strong leadership is more important than ever. Because people are looking to the workplace now for all their needs--professional development, social activities, on-site health care and child care services--strong leadership is especially critical.

Corporate leaders need to reassure employees that they will continue to receive the support they need, even as the organization continually adapts to the chaotic marketplace. When employees are reassured, they will be able to meet customers’ rapidly changing expectations—and thereby strengthen the company’s bottom line.

Communication is the key to accomplishing this goal, and the most effective approach is to develop an authentic story--and tell it effectively. A company needs to develop a story so bright and so right that its target audiences (employees, customers, stockholders, affiliates, suppliers, etc.) are drawn to the flame! This story needs to be told--and retold with new twists--at every opportunity. By reminding everyone affiliated with your organization of where you’re going and how you plan to get there—and most importantly, how each person can contribute—you will strengthen the culture and boost the team spirit.

Stories Are Cultural Glue
Stories have been the “glue” connecting people with their cultures and with one another throughout human history. In ancient cultures, and even relatively modern tribes, the oral tradition was the vehicle for passing tribal practices and history down through the generations. The designated tribal storyteller was responsible for ensuring that each member of the group understood the importance of their roles in continuing the traditions upon which the very survival of the tribe depended. The storyteller also served as an entertainer, retelling familiar tales around the campfire and engaging the imaginations of all those in the circle.

Why have stories always been so central to human interactions? Because stories reach people at a deeper level than a litany of facts and figures, and they stay with people longer. As the high-tech elements continually become more dominant, people hunger for “high-touch” interactions.


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