The Art of Storytelling in Strategy

Over the last few months working with business leaders on their strategy, I’ve often been asked “What is this strategic narrative, and why is it important for me and my business?” Simply put, a narrative is a story. And like any good story, it engages the reader in the why, the how and the what. Thinking of strategy like this, it’s useful to keep in mind some classic principles of good storytelling when creating your strategic narrative:

  1. A good plot is essential. The plot is the core of our story. It needs to be comprehensive, memorable, specific and unique.
  2. Good stories have a beginning, middle and end. We often use the phrase “start with the end in mind,” but a good story also needs a beginning and middle or the end will never seem unattainable.
  3. Good stories engage an audience. Remember that book you couldn’t put down? The same principles apply here: Engage your audience, invite them to join you on the journey, and capture their imagination to get there.
  4. Different characters have clear roles and individual stories to tell. Although stories may have a starring role, characters are created by their interactions with other characters in the plot. Strategy is no different—all players are important.

Tip by Megan James, Managing Director, Europe. Excerpted from her full article on LinkedIn: “Rediscovering the Lost Art of Storytelling in Strategy.”