The Strategic Narrative Workshop

Course Content

 

Module 0 – Overview

  • Why alignment is critical to success
  • How to create more impact
  • Why traditional business storytelling isn’t working.
  • The difference between story and narrative.
  • The five powers of a strategic narrative.
  • Ten principles to mobilize people.

0.1: Lecture

0.2: Homework

This week, watch this first video and get ready to start the workshop.

Module 1 – Fundamentals of Strategic Narrative

  • Story Vs. Narrative
  • An integral view: Strategic Narrative Canvas
  • Examples of successful strategic narratives

1.1: Lecture #1/2

1.2: Resources #1/2

Here are few articles that you might want to read to gain even more perspective about the concepts presented in the lecture:

Story vs. Narrative? And Why it Matters

A Difference That Can Change People’s Lives

A Powerful Historical Narrative

Jobs’ Story vs. Jobs’ Narrative

1.3: Homework #1/2

Between now and the next meeting of this workshop, think and write about one simple question:

What is a strategic narrative that has affected you?

Sign up for a presentation slot in next week’s meeting to share your work.

1.4: Lecture #2/2

1.5: Resources #2/2

1.6: Homework #2/2

Between now and the next meeting of this workshop:

#1 – Find the four stories in an article about Volvo.

  1. Please make your own copy of the Google document containing the article by Douglas Bell. To do so, go in the “file” menu and selecting “make a copy”.
  2. Read the article. It’s a five-minute read.
  3. Using the highlight tool in the menu, highlight each of the four stories with the highlight color specified in the table. Please don’t use any other color.
  4. Take a look at my suggested answers after you’ve tried by yourself.

#2- Pick your own “victim”. Find the four stories in a piece of your choice, about a company of your choice.

  1. Pick a company of your choice.
  2. Choose a piece or a series of pieces of communication about this company.
  3. Make it easy on yourself. Find an example with a lot of information available for you to work with.
  4. Do the same, highlight, circle, or cut the content you find relative to each of the four stories.

Volunteer to present what you’ve found: please consider signing up for a presentation slot in next week’s meeting.

Module 2 – Your Origin Story

  • The regenerative power of your origin story
  • Identifying the opportunity others don’t see
  • Structuring and writing your origin story

2.1: Lecture

2.2: Resources

If you’d like to explore the concept of the Origin Story even more, here are few articles that you might want to read:

Pain & Response

Tip To Write Your Origin Story

To Differentiate, Explore Your Past

How It All Started: Why It Matters

2.3: Homework

Between now and the next meeting of this workshop:

Start writing your origin story

  • Start ASAP. Don’t wait until the last minute. Write a little bit every day.
  • You may be surprised by how fast you can write it.
  • Or you may realize that it takes a lot longer than you thought.
  • Volunteer to present your origin story!

Volunteer to present what you’ve found: please consider signing up for a presentation slot in next week’s meeting. Let us know on Slack.

Module 3 – The Opportunity Story

  • Elements of the opportunity story
  • Selling the opportunity to your community
  • When to use the opportunity story

3.1: Lecture

3.2: Resources

Here are few articles that you might want to read about the Opportunity Story:

Hope

The Story You Don’t Want To Skip

Selling Explorations

Does It Inspire People?

The Real Goal

3.3: Homework

Between now and the next meeting of this workshop:

Think about and write the elements of your opportunity story.

  • What are they today?
  • What could they be in the future?
  • If needed: reflect, brainstorm, research, or have a conversation with your colleagues and peers.
  • Volunteer to present your work!

Volunteer to present what you’ve found: please consider signing up for a presentation slot in next week’s meeting. Let us know on Slack.

Module 4 – The Perspective Story

  • Challenging common wisdom
  • Business & organizational implications
  • Creative methods to enact your perspective story

4.1: Lecture

4.2: Resources

4.3: Homework

Between now and the next meeting of this workshop:

Write your perspective story.

It could be:

  • A small manifesto of 3 to 5 key ideas,
  • Or, a real customer case with the key points of your perspective,
  • Or, something that you already wrote,
  • Or, a list in chronological order.

These are just ideas. Feel free to create something unique, something that says who you are, and what you believe.

Volunteer to present what you’ve found: please consider signing up for a presentation slot in next week’s meeting. Let us know on Slack.

Module 5 – The Product Story

  • Why you need to sell your product last
  • The five attributes of the product story
  • Product development trade-offs

5.1: Lecture

5.2: Resources

Some articles related to the product story, so you can keep exploring this topic:

Narrative And Innovation

From “Product-first” to “Movement-first”

What Realizing Your Dream Really Takes

5.3: Homework

Write your “work backward” product story as a press release:

  • Imagine that you are launching or relaunching your product.
  • Follow the template.
  • Fill in the blanks and keep it to one page maximum.
  • Keep working on it until the outline for each paragraph flows.
  •  Write the press release in what I call “Oprah-speak”.

Volunteer to present what you’ve found: please consider signing up for a presentation slot in next week’s meeting. Let us know on Slack.

Module 6 – Strategic Narrative Activation

  • The seven sins of the strategic narrative builder
  • Moving from project to practice
  • Stages of evolution

6.1: Lecture #1

6.2: Resources

6.3: Homework

Between now and the next meeting of this workshop:

Wrap up the construction of your strategic narrative.

6.4: Lecture #2

6.5: Resources

6.6: Homework

Between now and the next meeting of this workshop:

Start building a simple plan to activate your strategic narrative:

  • Think about what practices and tools would be suitable to activate your strategic narrative.
  • Look at each of the four areas of activation – emotional, informational, behavioral, and material.
  • You don’t have to build the practice or the tool yet totally.
  • You may decide to start somewhere less conventional than you initially thought.
  • Build a simple list of practices.