Thinking of your “strategic narrative” as marketing only is a myth and a dangerous one. It will lead you to view your company essentially as a facade.
When they hear those two words, 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 have and to demonstrate. So, focusing on your strategic narrative as marketing creates a disconnect between inside and outside.
Some companies communicate about an opportunity and a story to the market, and they talk about a mission and values. But inside, if none of that corresponds to what people live, people feel disconnected, disengaged, and get cynical.
Narratives go way beyond making something compelling with a good hook. Narratives impact the future. They have the power to shape our decisions and our behaviors because they touch our beliefs. And when our beliefs change, so does the course of our actions, and so does the way 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 its function, mostly informational or cognitive.
A strategic narrative is also behavioral, cultural, and even material. It is an integral system comprised of everything you activate to create an impact in your community. It is outside and inside together, meshed individually and collectively.
So, why not look around and connect some dots between how your company looks and how it feels inside. Do you see anything?