How do you know if your strategic narrative is working?
So far, I’ve proposed four questions you could use as a framework to do a rapid diagnostic:
- How Well Did You Articulate It? Look at your messaging, marketing, what you say, write, and show inside and outside your organization.
- Does It Inspire People? Ask people if they feel invited as participants of your project and inspired to take action.
- Did You Integrate It? From your business decisions to your behaviors, observe if your narrative is consistent, dissonant, or absent.
- Is It Recognized? Get a sense of the public’s affection for your narrative to know enough people know about it.
If you’ve answered “YES!” to these, you’re off to a great start. It sounds like your organization is communicating and living based on a narrative that people recognize inside and outside. It will generate alignment and engagement.
But here is the thing: if your strategic narrative is the same as every other firm in your industry, market, or geography, what value are you adding?
In this context, I am not just talking about product differentiation. A strategic narrative covers your worldview and how you operate. It’s probably something closer to the definition of culture.
Deja-vu is a trap. It’s easy to fall into it. When we make something based on the same narrative as every other competitor, we get lost in an ocean of options. Soon, we compete on price.
A different strategic narrative is a chance to disagree with your competition. It also makes it easier for customers to choose you.
See how different your narrative is, how unique is your belief system, and the values you defend.