What is a Storytelling Backbone?
The OneStory® Backbone is an integrated set of structure and culture in the company intended to facilitate the storytelling strategy, and is focused on improving the shared values. The storytelling structure consists of the organisation, processes, tools and technology. The storytelling culture consists of the style and skills of the staff that belong to the organisation. The backbone determines how storytelling is facilitated and brought to life throughout the organisation. How stories are discovered, built, told and shared in order to increase employee engagement and improve shared values.
Why is it relevant?
An effective OneStory® Backbone helps bolster employee engagement in the company. It helps the company increase employee respect for executive leadership, pride in working for the company, a positive feeling about the company culture, and a sense that your work matters. That translates into higher customer satisfaction and greater financial performance. Investing your efforts into building and improving a strong OneStory® Backbone is what makes the difference for the company over the short and long term.
Developing the storytelling heart of your organisation
The Storytelling Backbone will be the heart of your organisation. It will be the engine that fuels the growth of Company Engagement in terms of:
- Recognition: acknowledging the existence and rewarding individual and collective contributions
- Pride: fulfilled feelings in response to individual and collective achievements, as well as a sense of satisfaction regarding the achievement
- Trust: a sense of belonging and of feeling at ease and at home
- Leadership: opportunities for personal development and growth
The more advances you make to your Storytelling Backbone, the higher the level of engagement that can be reached within the company. Developing this backbone is the key to the sustainable growth of engagement. It is all about developing engagement stories.
Key stories are at the heart of the storytelling backbone in every company. The corporate story brings unity to the organisation. Internally, it increases feelings of pride and the level of involvement among leaders and employees. Externally, it improves the loyalty of customers and the brand’s reputation. The leadership story reinforces the position of the company’s leaders by using stories to communicate the corporate values and ambitions. Internally, this increases the ‘we-feeling’. The employee story also connects the employees to your organisation. It fuels their recognition and pride, as well as providing a sense of belonging and personal development. The customer story helps the organisation to position its sales, reinforce the story, and to increase its customer impact through the use of storytelling.
Competence, Culture and Leadership
The appropriate competence, culture and leadership are needed to discover and share stories. This requires leaders and employees with the capability to connect with people and inspire them. It needs a culture in which storytelling is valued by everyone and in which there are no barriers to sharing stories. It is about being comfortable and being able to discover and share the stories.
Tools and Technology
Advanced tools and technology can be used to share stories throughout the organisation and with the larger world. For example, our OneStory® App is a dedicated digital platform where people can meet to share their stories. It facilitates interactive discussions that lead to engaged employees.
Processes and Procedures
Effective processes and procedures should be in place to facilitate storytelling throughout the organisation. Certain procedures, such as starting each meeting with personal stories, have proven to be very effective tools for sharing compelling stories. Embedding a personal story into the annual review process is another interesting example.