Every industry, organization and profession is an ecosystem of stories.
Think about it.
- Each time an author releases a new book, she makes the rounds telling the story of her book and why people should read it.
- Entrepreneurs work day and night sharing the story of their idea, product or service with all who will listen to drive sales and attract investors.
- Every day, scores of professionals interview for jobs and tell stories about who they are, what they do and why.
Stories tell us who is succeeding and how. Stories share what is emerging and why. And stories show us how others are failing, so we can try to avoid the same fate.
Stories are the fuel behind who’s hot, who’s not, what’s in, what’s out and where you, your company and cause fit in the world.
Don’t believe me?
Read Inc. Or Harvard Business Review. Or Health Affairs. Or Popular Mechanics. Or Vogue. Or Huffington Post. Or Orion. Or Politico.
Every article, podcast, broadcast, video, speech, infographic, advertisement, email—you name it—is a business narrative designed to influence your mind and heart to take an intended action.
You are either an active participant in the stories being told in your professional ecosystem, or you are a consequence of these narratives.
The choice is yours.
What is a Business Narrative?
Said simply, business narrative is storytelling in business.
It is used to market and sell. It is used to explain how and why companies, products and services succeed or fail. It is used to inspire teams to work together.
Types of Business Narratives
- Career Narratives: These are the stories you tell about who you are, what you do and why. We use career narratives in interviews and when we meet new prospects, partners and peers.
- Professional Narratives: These are the stories told among peers, like marketing professionals, healthcare executives or web developers. Professional narratives are what drive trade associations and events.
- Industry Narratives: These are the stories told within markets and industries. For example, the healthcare industry has an ecosystem of stories shared by policymakers, regulators, executives, physicians, nurses, consultants and vendors.
- Organizational Narratives: These are stories told within companies, as well as the stories organizations tell the public about who they are, what they do and why.
- Product/Service Narratives: These are the stories of what the product/service is, what it does and why it’s needed.
- Cause Narratives: These are stories of societal and social change. Nonprofit organizations, churches and advocacy groups use cause narratives to inspire people to donate their time and money to solving the world’s problems.
- Creation Narratives: These are the stories of how your company, cause, product, service or career came to be.
Want to learn more about business narrative design and how it can advance your company, cause and career?
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