Blog post at HowToWriteBetter : These days everyone in the business communication world seems hooked on “storytelling,” right?
What a great post and a cautionary tale for us all.
It's easy to jump on the bandwagon of biz storytelling and completely muck it up. As the author says:
"I know I’m a cynical old goat, but to me much of this story telling stuff stinks to high Heaven of boring old case histories – glammed up with a bit of magic, sprinkled with a little fairy dust, and told to inspire customers, stakeholders and whoever else with what basically amounts to 'this is what we achieved way back here for customer X, so we could achieve the same or better for you.' "
The way most case histories are crafted and shared by companies are hardly stories and mostly boring. But they could be very compelling stories. Same with customer stories & profiles -- most don't even qualify as stories.
I don't agree with the author that your founding story should only be told to stakeholders / employees / stockholders because your customers couldn't care less. My decades of experience say otherwise. A company’s founding story can have many uses and potential customers do like hearing that kind of a story in the right context. But you've got to pay attention to make sure your story is right for the context you are in.
At the end, the author includes a good story that you may or may not have heard before. It bears re-telling :)