That’s the question that Ade Asefeso answers in his new book “Corporate Storytelling (Tell Them Your Story)”
Ade said. “Corporate storytelling is about winning. It's about getting to the core of an organization's value proposition, and developing narratives that simply and compellingly relate the story to customers, prospects, investors, media, employees and others in a way that motivates them to think or act favourably and it's about developing focused, cost-effective programs that enable companies to reinforce the story (and differentiate themselves) through every communication they produce and action they take.”
Ade also said that. “Corporate storytelling relies on facts, never fiction, and is grounded in meticulous competitive and market research.”
Ade gave sample by narrating a story. "About a dozen years ago, a guy walked into an Alaskan Nordstrom store and wanted to return two faulty tires. Although Nordstrom does not sell tires, the previous property owner did. Nevertheless, Nordstom provided a refund without question. The Nordstrom story has been cited in hundreds of articles and told millions of times, helping build the store’s reputation for outstanding service to mythical proportions. Who cares what Nordstrom actually sells; you just want to go there and experience this level of service first-hand! This and other Nordstom service stories, spread by word of mouth, are examples of how a company can build its reputation through the telling of stories that exemplify its vision and core values."
Ade add by saying “As a public relations practitioner, there is no doubt in my mind that the most powerful tool a business has to sustain its success is creating an enduring and authentic reputation. This means a reputation for doing an outstanding job, for caring for people and the community, and for running a good business. While advertising can tell the marketplace about what your company does, your commitment to great service, your outstanding workplace environment, and how you give back to the community, building a reputation is truly where your actions speak louder than words; however, companies struggle with talking about their “good works” and successes because they don’t want to seem boastful.”
We asked Ade. So the question becomes how do you profile your company’s mission, vision, and core values in a way that is compelling and enduring? Perhaps more importantly, how do you get others to tell your story?
Ade responded to the above question by saying. "You start by capturing your company stories; from your employees, your customers, and even your suppliers and making them part of your regular communications. These are “legends” that exemplify your company’s core values, your organization’
A company needs to reinforce its core values regularly and encourage employees to tell stories of how they have recently lived up to the company’s guiding principles through an internal interaction or working with a client or supplier. These stories can be retold again and again as examples of how your employees are actively living your company’s core values and they are even more powerful when your clients tell them."
Ade What is the biggest stumbling block for businesses in creating their own stories?
Ade said. " Many companies struggle to describe what it is they do in simple language and few words, and core value statements are rarely written down. Remember the dot.com years of the elevator pitch? Being able to describe what you do in two or three simple sentences is critical to building your story. People, including your employees, clients, and suppliers, have to understand clearly what you do before they can provide you with “stories” of how you have done it well.
Spend some time with your team to discover how each of you describes your company and exactly what it does. Are your messages similar and consistent? Do they encapsulate exactly what you do? When you think you have come up with your core value statements about your company, “for instance” add a corporate story."
We then ask Ade. Can you create a positive story from a bad service experience?
Ade responded by saying. " Yes, because it is how you respond to client or employee concerns that builds the legend. One client of ours responded to a letter written by an upset guest by driving to the guest’s house, introducing himself as the owner, and asking how he could make it up to the disgruntled guest, including offering a complimentary stay. That story is now known within the organization and highlights to employees just how important responding to guest feedback is to the business. You can also bet the guest has told the story to his friends.
Ask your clients and suppliers for their stories on how you conduct business with them. If you get negative feedback, then your story will be how you helped to turn that relationship around. If you get positive stories, you can use them as endorsements for building your business and by asking them to put into words how you have demonstrated your core values to them, you will have helped clients to create their own stories about your company, which they most likely will tell to others and the building of your corporate legend will have begun."
Ade has packed a lot into his career over the years with a long spell working at senior level within various manufacturing companies in the UK. He can be described as international diplomat due to his work across the globe.
Ade spent a lot of his time representing various companies either at supply chain level, operational level, sales and marketing level, and senior executive level across Asia, North America, Africa, Eastern and Western Europe.
All this still doesn’t make mention of Ade’s increasingly successful career as an author, of numerous books on Finance, Business Ideas, Personal Development, Self help, CEO Guide to Doing Business, Outsourcing, Lean IT, Lean Manufacturing, Agile and Lean Office, Lean Office, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Healthcare, Six Sigma marketing, Six Sigma Service, Lean Startup, Lean Procurement, Lean Implementation, 5S for Supervisors, 5S Home, Lean Handbook, Lean marketing, Lean Sales and marketing, Lean Accounting, Lean Management, Lean Healthcare, 5S for Healthcare, Lean In Construction, TPM Simplified, Green Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management, Real estate, Balanced Scorecard Non Executive Director, CEO Tools, Corporate Storytelling, Reshoring and Online Marketing.
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