Four Steps to Turn Stories into Competitive Advantages | Fast Company

"Once Upon A Time" Window Display

“Once Upon A Time” Window Display (Photo credit: Loren Javier)

Storytelling can provide competitive advantages if done well which is why I enjoyed Four Steps to Turn Stories into Competitive Advantages | Fast Company. For years, I’ve known at some level that storytelling is a great way to convey a lot of information about a company’s values and cultures.  A story about someone working overnight to meet a deadline; or a story about someone getting fired for a particular kind of mistake go a lot further in conveying a company’s values then a  simple list of  “do’s” and “don’ts”.  This is similar to the notion that gossip helps form social norms.

Along these lines, Kaihan Krippendorff writes in this article about his thought that storytelling may be a source of competitive advantage.  He reports research findings that say “that 94% of your behavior is driven by unconscious forces and one of the most influential forces is the programming you acquired by the stories you grew up with.”  Stories about Trojan horses, or the boy who cried wolf, are embedded in our minds and guide our actions without our even knowing about it.

With this as a backdrop, the next question is whether we can consciously tell stories that will give a company a competitive advantage.  In his article, Kaihan asks his readers for examples where a company tells stories or “strategic narratives” to gain a competitive advantage.  It’s a fascinating project.  Personally, I can’t wait to hear how this story ends.

Nathan S. Gibson

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