This is the third email of a brief series on the opportunities coming from crafting a new strategic narrative.
In part 1, we talked about the main idea behind the concept of strategic narrative.
Here it is again:
Seek to create a new narrative. To grow your impact, take people on a journey that changes the way they view the world. Then, position your idea as ideal for them to thrive in this new interpretation of their context.
In part 2, we went over how doing good requires new narratives.
In this email (part 3), I suggest that you are increasingly a caretaker for society. As a CEO or a business leader, you are now responsible for some of the new narratives that society depends upon.
In the last decades, the responsibility for society has shifted from government and church to businesses. Companies have more influence on our lives than government and religious organizations.
We went from the expectation that the CEO’s job was to create value for shareholders, to expect that a CEO serves many stakeholders: customers, employees, communities, and future generations through social responsibility. CEOs are now held accountable, not just in quarterly earnings calls but also in real-time through social media and communication campaigns. There is constant scrutiny, and their job is more demanding than ever.
Who has embraced the responsibility to be the moral voice of America and the world? Who is taking risks and the opportunities that it brings?
A growing number of CEOs are using their ability to influence our narratives. They make it their strategy. As a result, they’ve engaged in heated debates over themes such as climate change and healthcare.
Let’s take Nike, for instance. Over the decades, the company’s messages touched on ageism, gender equality, disabilities, racial equality, and many other concerns. Each time, it is through bold ad campaigns. Their goal is to change our view of ourselves, our own personal narrative, and our view of the world too.
While most big brands try to avoid controversy and huge risks, Nike embraces it. Despite the negative feedback that Nike’s ad campaigns receive, the company might not be sacrificing much and rather profits from this approach.
Nike’s strategic narrative is, “You can change the world if you change the way you think about yourself.” I am making this up. Is this accurate?
In other words, everyone in our leadership community has a piece of responsibility in our society’s narratives. We can have that impact with new strategic narratives and hopefully positive ones.
Everyone can push humanity forward.
To do that, you will need help.
Stay tuned for Part 4.