November 3, 2023
Have you ever felt like your company's strategy resembles a complicated jigsaw puzzle? You're not alone.
Navigating the realm of business strategy is like deciphering an intricate puzzle.
Leaders are continuously fighting with convoluted models, messy plans, and a huge load of data. This complexity not only fosters confusion but also hinders progress.
When team members struggle to grasp the overarching strategy, it hinders their ability to make informed decisions and contribute effectively. This is a challenge faced by organizations worldwide.
Enter the StoryBrand framework, by Donald Miller.
At its core, it reshapes your company into the guide, with your customer as the hero. This shift revolutionizes the way you communicate your strategy, making it not only understandable but also highly engaging.
At Circularity Coach International we use this already powerful and utilize it as a solution to solve the complexity of business strategy communication. Although usually only used as a marketing communications framework, we see the potential using StoryBrand to turn complex business strategy into an easy to understand narrative — complete with a succinct one-pager document that your team can leaf through.
A Character: In this story, the customer takes center stage as the hero.
Has a Problem: Every hero encounters a challenge. Understanding the precise problems our customers face allows us to step in as the guide.
And Meets a Guide: This is our pivotal role. As a company, we assume the role of the guide who possesses the knowledge, experience, and tools to help the hero overcome their challenges.
Who Has a Plan: Guides don't operate blindly. They have a concrete plan to lead the hero to success. This is our strategy, our roadmap.
And Calls the Hero to Action: A guide is not passive; they actively guide the hero towards taking specific actions. Similarly, we must call our customers to take action.
That Helps Them Avoid Failure: Failure is the antithesis of the hero's journey. Our role as a guide is to ensure the hero avoids this undesirable outcome.
And Ends in a Success: The ultimate goal is not just to avert failure, but to lead the hero to a resounding success. This is the transformation we facilitate.
At its core, StoryBrand reimagines the company as a guide, with the customer as the hero. This shift in perspective holds transformative potential, inviting us to reevaluate not only our company's purpose but also the attributes that define us as the guiding force.
Usually, movies focuses more on the Hero instead of the Guide. Today, we’ll do the opposite with StoryBrand.
Every guide, in both stories and businesses, possesses distinct characteristics that define their role. For a company, these attributes crystallize in the form of purpose, core values, and key behaviors.
A guide's purpose is its North Star, a beacon that illuminates the path forward. For example: Gandalf's chief purpose was helping the Children of Iluvatar to oppose Sauron, to restore hope and aid them without dominating them.
In the case of a business, it speaks to why the company exists, beyond profit margins and market share. Purpose is the rallying cry that unites every individual under a common cause, giving their work a deeper meaning.
These are the guiding principles that shape every decision and action. They serve as the moral compass, ensuring that the company remains true to its beliefs, even in the face of challenges. Core values are the bedrock of a company's culture, fostering unity and integrity.
Actions speak louder than words, and for a guide, these behaviors are the embodiment of its values. They manifest in how the company interacts with customers, partners, and employees. Key behaviors exemplify the guide's commitment to its purpose and core values.
With these elements in mind, we embark on crafting our Guide on a Mission. This one-pager encapsulates our business strategy narrative and ensures it is easily understandable to every member of the organization.
There are 3 important parts to Guide on a Mission.
1. Mission Statement: Guiding with Purpose
The Mission Statement anchors your narrative, infusing it with purpose and direction. It is the foundation on which the entire strategy rests. To craft an effective Mission Statement, consider these three crucial elements:
The best formula for a Mission Statement is elegantly simple: “We will accomplish X by Y because of Z.” This formula injects economic coordinates, sets realistic deadlines, and crystallizes the purpose behind the work.
2. Key Characteristics: Embodiment of the Mission
After formulating your Mission Statement, consider the characteristics necessary to realize it. Ask three pivotal questions:
These Key Characteristics outline the transformation you and your team must undergo to accomplish the mission.
3. Critical Actions: Catalyzing Progress
Critical Actions delineate three actions accessible to every team member, actions that continually drive the business towards its financial objectives. These actions should meet two criteria:
With these Critical Actions, you instill habits that propel the mission forward.
Guiding Principles, once crafted, need to be woven into your company's fabric. Here's how:
The adoption of StoryBrand's narrative approach brings profound transformations to your business strategy. It dissolves the haze of complexity, replacing it with a crystal-clear vision that resonates throughout your organization.
1. Enhanced Understanding and Alignment
By presenting your strategy as a narrative, every member of your team gains a deeper understanding of their role and contribution to the overarching goal. This newfound clarity fosters a sense of purpose, aligning individual efforts with collective success.
2. Heightened Engagement and Empowerment
A narrative-driven strategy empowers employees, allowing them to see themselves as essential components of the company's success story. This heightened engagement fuels motivation and sparks innovation, as team members feel more invested in the outcome.
3. Faster Decision-Making and Adaptation
In the absence of confusion, decision-making becomes swifter and more precise. Teams can quickly assess situations, draw on the guiding narrative, and act in a manner that propels the narrative forward.
In integrating the StoryBrand framework with your business strategy, you're not just simplifying complexity; you're creating a powerful narrative that resonates with everyone in your organization.
This narrative is more than a strategy; it's a shared vision, a rallying point, and a guiding light. In its clarity, you'll find unity. In its simplicity, you'll find direction. And in its narrative, you'll find the fuel to propel your organization toward a future of boundless success.
Need help in creating your business narrative, let’s get in touch!
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