Why business stories matter

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Imagine entering a bar, restaurant, coffee shop, or another location with a similarly informal setting. As you walk in, you immediately notice a silent crowd gathered around.

Without seeing the complete picture, you already know this crowd is deeply focused on something. Chances are they’re listening to someone tell a story, whether in the physical realm, or a video being flashed on the TV screen, or some other medium.

One time or another, we’ve had a personal encounter with an exceptional storyteller. Such individuals have the showmanship and the gift of gab, but really, none of their gifts would matter if they didn’t have a story to tell.

The truth is, as humans, we’re hardwired to be immersed in stories. This can be traced back to the distant past, from cavemen gathering around the fire exchanging the keys to survival, to Greek philosophers taking center stage to present their unique expertise, musings, groundbreaking theories, and divergent thinking. We still do this today from our smart devices and social media platforms to the collective consciousness of our audiences.

As businesses, we cannot survive without stories that stick, especially in a digital-first world where people experience reality through the comfort of their mobile phones and tablets. In a corporate setting, stories allow us to express our brand DNA, promise, value proposition, and reason for being in a compelling and human-centric way.
Stories answer burning questions like:

Who are you and what makes you different?

What do you do best?

What can you do for me that no one else can?

Why should I invest in you?

And much more…

Ultimately, it’s imperative to connect with audiences by exuding compassion, authenticity, credibility, and distinction. We are storytellers by design, and that makes our audiences natural story-listeners, too.

Parker Lee

Parker Lee is the managing partner of Territory, a design consultancy, who has developed and led teams in transformation, design thinking, and business development for decades. Co-author of The Art of Opportunity, he has created and facilitated dozens of design and visual thinking engagements.

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