In a world where story has become everything, organizations are finding it increasingly hard to compete. That’s because stories can only take you so far. The real power lies in narratives. We are surrounded by noise. We are overwhelmed by information from social media, news and advertising.
In this environment, it can be impossible for a brand, cause or individual to be heard. Organizations have traditionally used stories to try and connect with their audiences. But now, stories aren’t enough. To be heard and to authentically connect to an audience, organizations need to embrace narrative. So what do we mean when we talk about narrative? In this book, the reader will learn what narrative is and why it is important. They will learn the conditions that give rise to a narrative. They will get a sense of the basic roles of the participants in the dance of narrative. We call them narrative “Initiators” and “Respondents.” They will also learn about the elements of the existing narratives they live with, and are creating. By defining narrative, we help the reader see the narratives all around them. We then lay out the building blocks of narrative so the reader can think about their own narrative. Finally, we provide simple worksheets to guide the narrative-building process for organizations of any size. Our hope is that by walking readers through the narrative-building process, they will be more empowered to connect with their audiences and create authentic, lasting relationships.