Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Got a story to tell?

I started work with a new client this week. One of our conversations revolved around adoption of the program we were implementing. This is a pretty common theme in a lot of projects I work on, how to get people to buy in to your vision.

I came across an article on this topic on Harvard Business Review. One of the interesting recommendations of the article was to tell stories. As a former Navy guy, I have heard my share of sea stories. While entertaining, sea stories also had a lesson to teach. It was usually about how to avoid doing something stupid, exemplified by someone doing something stupid.

But stories can help in business as well. I often tell stories of how a previous client did something similar and what their outcome was. Sometimes, in spite of my best advice, I have had clients do stupid things. More often though, they stories are of success. The story drives a point home better than providing statistics or giving recommendations without any backing.

So what stories do you have to tell? How will your stories help you move your project forward?

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