Good Organizations are Storytellers. Great Organizations are Storydoers.

Discussions about story and storytelling are pretty fashionable today. On the one hand, as a lifelong advocate for the power of story, I find this very encouraging. For all organizations, having a story and knowing that story are crucial steps to achieving success. On the other hand, I’m worried that too many organizations think that telling their story through advertising is enough. It’s not.

In fact, those that think this way do so at their own risk because there is a new kind of organization on the rise that uses story in a more powerful way — and they are run more efficiently and profitably as a result.

In my new book, True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business, I call these new organizations storydoing organizations because they advance their narrative through action, not communication. Storydoing organizations — Red Bull and TOMS shoes, for example — emphasize the creation of compelling and useful experiences — new products, new services, and new tools that advance their narrative by lighting up the medium of people. What I mean by this is that when people encounter a storydoing organization they often want to tell all their friends about it. Storydoing organizations create fierce loyalty and evangelism in their customers. Their stories are told primarily via word of mouth, and are amplified by social media tools.

So how do you know a storydoing organization when you see one? These are the primary characteristics:

  1. They have a story
  2. The story is about a larger ambition to make the world or people’s lives better
  3. The story is understood and cared about by senior leadership outside of marketing
  4. That story is being used to drive tangible action throughout the company: product development, HR policies, compensation, etc.
  5. These actions add back up to a cohesive whole
  6. Customers and partners are motivated to engage with the story and are actively using it to advance their own stories

Storydoing organizations have a feeling of authenticity and humanity about them that is lost in many traditional organizations today. It makes them magnetic.

Storydoing organizations are on to something very compelling. Storydoing can be learned. And once learned, it can be replicated and spread from one part of your organization to another.

Are you a storydoing organization? Here’s a tool that will help you discover that answer.

Read the original article by Ty Montague here.

Read more about storydoing here.


Download PDF

Tags: , , , , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Communication >


Ty Montague

Ty Montague

Ty Montague is the author of True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business and a founder of co:collective, a consultancy that helps clients develop their strategy and brand story using the principles of storydoing.

See more articles by >


What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you Ed for sharing your insights into the Church Growth Movement. I have my reservations with Church Growth models because it has done more damage than good in the Body of Christ. Over the years, western churches are more focused on results, formulas and processes with little or no emphasis on membership and church discipline. Pastors and vocational leaders are burnt out because they're overworked. I do believe that the Church Growth model is a catalyst to two destructive groups: The New Apostolic Reformation and the Emerging Church. Both groups overlap and have a very loose definition. They're both focus on contemporary worship, expansion of church brand (franchising), and mobilizing volunteering members as 'leaders' to grow their ministry. Little focus on biblical study, apologetics and genuine missional work with no agenda besides preaching of the gospel.
— Dave
comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
— Argaw Alemu
comment_post_ID); ?> Amen!!
— Scott Michael Whitley

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.