It is a leader's responsibility to paint a picture of the future and inspire their people and others to get there. Storytelling is the perfect vehicle to share that vision by describing the now and laying out the dream on how the company will achieve the vision. Below is an article by Steve Denning from Forbes Magazine on the importance of leaders adopting storytelling into their toolkit.
Harvard Business Review has long recognized the power of storytelling to improve business whether it's increasing sales, staff motivation or making better leaders. In the article linked below, HBR interviews a famous Hollywood screenwriter to talk about how story can apply to business.
Qiagen brought me in to do a diversity workshop on disability. I performed my one woman show to a rapt audience. When asked how many people know, or have someone in their family, with a disability, 70% of the audience raised their hands. With 34 million Americans counted as disabled in some way through the 2010 census, this makes sense. The audience asked many questions and some say the presentation gave them a lot to think about and to discuss with their children. In the end, they gave me a standing ovation! It doesn't get any better than that.
In May I was honored to be a speaker at Toyo University talking about disability and the effects of Globalization. I shared the history of US law and policy impacting people with disabilities through my lived experience. I wasn't sure if that approach would translate well across cultures, but it went over very well. Humans are humans everywhere!
Storytelling is a powerful way to convey information. Data shared through storytelling is retained twenty times more than information in a Powerpoint presentation. The reason is easy to understand. Stories with sensory details engage more parts of the brain than words on a screen. In addition, humans think in narrative. All day long we think about the connection between cause and effect which is storytelling in it’s most fundamental form. To learn more, check out The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains at http://lifehacker.com/5965703/the-science-of-storytelling-why-telling-a-story-is-the-most-powerful-way-to-activate-our-brains