A dozen years ago or so, back when the blogosphere was still in its infancy, friend of Gapingvoid, Microsoft’s Steve Clayton just started blogging “stories” about his employer.
This was years before Satya Nadella stepped in as their CEO and turned things around. Microsoft was struggling as the evil empire, a dinosaur with old-hat monopolies keeping it going.
Yet Steve saw that he was one of many passionate people at MS, that Microsoft was an interesting company doing amazing things and time would prove this again.
So he wrote “stories” about Microsoft. Interesting people doing interesting things inside the company.
It paid off. Now, not only is Microsoft crushing it, Steve has risen to become Microsoft’s “Chief Storyteller”, which is a huge job, overseeing their entire corporate social media program and managing their Image & Culture team, as well.
Storytelling has always been a big deal for companies. If you don’t have story worth telling, then why should anyone be interested in you, be interested in your products?
Why do great companies get so famous? Because remarkable companies are so compelling, to talk about.
But forget business for a minute. Stores are much bigger than that, they’re central to our human existence. The way we shape reality is through storytelling. If we can tell a story about it, that means it exists. And this explains our species’ unique capacity for metaphor…for that is how we turn abstract ideas into stories.
So when you read “Chief Storyteller” on someone’s business card, don’t roll your eyeballs, thinking they’ve got a cutie-pie business title. “Storytelling” is what distinguishes great brands from the also-rans.
Bonus Link [The real reason why story-telling is so important].