How Stories Shape Workplace Culture.

This Easter season I spent a lot of time with the kids. As you already know, kids will find reasons not to do what they are supposed to do. When they do that you can raise your voice but soon, they become resistant to such. So, every time I wanted to influence them what did I do? I told stories; stories at dinner, lunch, play parks etc. I did it so much that one of them asked me, “Why do you love to tell stories?”

The power of a great story can influence the Culture of an organization, country or even a family. Stories are emotional and memorable hence the power therein. A bad story at your workplace can ruin the Culture (how people do things) while great ones build powerful cultures.

I know a Company where employees discussed only bad things; hiring decisions, poor spending practices, and the organization’s failure to prosecute employees who were stealing and the near bankruptcy. In this Company the leaders never believed in storytelling. The employees became fearful about the future of any organization. This low morale affected the creativity, they lost customers and the turnover was high till the leaders started embracing story-telling to influence culture change.

Every time we (Sudesh Int’l Consult) have an assignment to transform culture we work with the leaders to discover the great stories of that organization. These stories (Core-purpose and values) are then told in different ways over years to influence the behavior which in turn becomes the Culture.

What we are doing isn’t new, timeless stories with purpose have been told over ages.

Case in point: In Japan the story of a faithful dog named Hachiko, who dutifully walked with his owner to Tokyo’s Shibuya train station every day, waiting patiently there for the master to return from work. When his owner died suddenly one day without returning home, Hachiko continued to wait for him returning every day for ten years before passing away in the same spot where he had last seen the master.

The hachiko story has been told so many times to children in Japan over the years. What are the results? Japanese are some of the most faithful and loyal people on planet earth. Where does it start? Story-telling.

Statue Of Hachiko and the master in Japan

Do you want to transform the culture at your workplace, concentrate on the power of work stories to inspire, enable, and reinforce your desired work culture? A change in the stories or building a culture that supports storytelling will help your organization experience success.

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