THE “STORY IDOL” CONTEST, an annual event of City National Bank, is where workers from across the company’s 79 offices vie to tell the best true tale about how they’ve promoted teamwork or helped a client or gone the extra mile.
It’s like telling stories around a campfire, but they’re doing it around conference tables. At the end, workers vote on the best stories and the winners receive iPads and cash prizes.
“It’s a way to give colleagues a pat on the back and a moment in the sun for doing the right thing and it democratizes and decentralizes positive reinforcement.” says CEO Russell Goldsmith in The New York Times Corner Office article.
“We talk a lot about stories. They’re a really important part of how we teach and reinforce the culture, and how we reward behavior. Maybe it’s because I came out of the entertainment industry. If you had talked to me about a project when I was at Republic Pictures, I would have said it’s about story. With movies, if you don’t have a great script, forget it.”
What are the stories told in your organization? What message do they send to your employees, your customers, the media and even the world? Do you want to make it part of your culture?
If so, here are key points from the late David Armstrong, The Storytelling CEO:
- Identify the purpose of the story.
What information about your culture do you want to teach and reinforce? Is it about customer service, teamwork, employee motivation, strategy?
- Find a situation that reflects that purpose and weave a story around it.
Ask employees, customers, suppliers, anyone who comes in contact with your product or services about their experiences. Armstrong claims, “It makes you a better leader because you have to listen to people.”
- Remember KISS. Keep it short and simple.
if it’s too long with too many details, it’s hard to remember and repeat. Stories need to engage not put to sleep!
- Make your people heroes.
Realize it’s not about you…it’s about them. It’s about your employees – what they do, how they do it, why they do it.
[su_spacer]What’s your leadership story? What’s the heart and soul of your organization? How well are you telling it?