Three reasons storytellers are failing businesses: It was a beautiful idea; you and your colleagues hard at work, a marketing graduate holding their DSLR or iPhone yelling action, the buzz of being a movie star and if they were good – if they were ‘industry professionals’ – when you pressed play a montage of quick, genuinely beautiful scenes flashed up on screen with some subtly irritating looped stock music.
It was neat, briefly; the building exterior began the video, a close up of glassware at your event, a wide angle shot of a pretty room, your clients and stakeholders flashed past, someone from a lectern smiled and gesticulated enthusiastically, a drone shot finished it off and your logo appeared.. you had a video! Job done right? Except deep down, you didn’t care.. what’s with that?
What I just described is your typical corporate video ‘storytelling’ – it may have even been a feel good interview rather than an event recap, though it would generally follow the format and include 30 seconds of someone talking about themselves without answering any kind of leading question that imprints in the viewer a way to commercially engage with you, or introduces the underlying why that represents one of your more significant capabilities.
It was pretty. You were in it. It looked like everything else you’ve seen that was flashy. You paid for it. Though what was missing?
Most content creators are stuck down in Storytelling, which we just described, and the modern audiences you would want as good clients are highly intelligent. They got to the top of the corporate and government game, have a hand in the c-suite or board and people listen to them – they are Sophisticated.
Then we have all the facets of business. From the consistent tumult of moving through Greiner’s Model of Organisational Growth, the nuances of Business Development and effective marketing, strategy and tactics, brand, product and service innovation, regulatory changes, Directors liability, the massive shift to transparent stakeholder engagement related to social license to operate and the movement of investment mandates as we look from ESG to Theories of Change and effective Impact Measurement..
Individually and in aggregate these form lenses through which narrative not only matters, it drives outcomes when used as levers to engage stakeholders, whether they be internal, external, clients, partners or competitors.
When you have storytelling alone you have pretty things that are meaningless for your organisation.
Storytelling and Sophistication without Business create interesting, generally long winded diatribe that struggle to be used as tools by your people.
Sophisticated Business content without the emotional connection to people, ideas and place is dry, unengaging and passes by in the same way maintenance and compliance reports shuffle off down dark hallways.
You need Sophisticated Business Storytelling™