Here is a costly mistake I want to help you avoid.
Thinking of your “strategic narrative” as marketing only is a trap and a dangerous one.
This misconception will lead you to view your company essentially as a facade.
When hearing the two words “strategic narrative, most people think about a website, a sales deck, an ad campaign, or someone doing a presentation.
But those are only external-facing representations of the beliefs and behaviors –aka the “narrative”– that your team is supposed to enact and demonstrate. So, focusing on your strategic narrative as marketing creates a disconnect between inside and outside.
For instance, some companies communicate to the outside world about the opportunity, the values, and the mission they pursue. But inside, none of these correspond to what people live.
So, people feel disconnected, disengaged, and get cynical.
Instead, narratives go way beyond making something compelling with a good hook.
Narratives impact the future.
Narratives have the power to shape our decisions and our behaviors because they touch our beliefs. And when our beliefs change, so do our actions and how we execute our company’s strategy.
Ok, I’ll give you this: an effective strategic narrative will for sure improve your marketing. But this is only a fraction of the outcome on your business, primarily informational or cognitive.
A strategic narrative is also behavioral, cultural, and even material.
A strategic narrative is an integral system comprised of everything you activate to impact your community.
It is outside and inside together, meshed individually and collectively.
Take a step back and look at how your company looks and feels inside vs. outside. Then, survey your team and your customers, and see what common denominator exists when people describe how they perceive your company. Is there even one? And if there is one, is it the right one?