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  • Writer's pictureKayla Morse Higgs

The Power of Storytelling in Change Management

Updated: Jun 24

As a leader guiding your organization through change, one of the most powerful tools at your disposal is storytelling. People are naturally inclined to stick with the familiar narratives and mental models they've grown accustomed to. Unless you intentionally narrate a different story, they'll continue clinging to the same old tales that may no longer serve them or the company.Change can be unsettling and disruptive. By crafting and consistently reinforcing a compelling narrative around the "why" behind the changes, you provide your team with a new storyline to follow. This narrative should paint a vivid picture of the future state you're working towards and the benefits it will unlock.

Effective change storytelling:

Provides Context and Rationale

People are more likely to embrace change when they understand the deeper reasons driving it. Use your narrative to explain the market forces, competitive landscape, or organizational imperatives necessitating transformation.

Highlights the Potential Upside

Instead of solely focusing on the effort required, emphasize the positive outcomes and opportunities that successful change will create. Describe the new capabilities, efficiencies, or competitive advantages you'll gain.

Connects to Purpose and Values

Anchor your narrative in the organization's core purpose and values. Illustrate how the changes will better align operations with the principles that underpin your culture.

Acknowledges Challenges

While optimistic, your story should also validate the real hurdles and sacrifices involved. Demonstrating empathy builds trust and credibility.The goal is to supplant the default "change is hard" narrative with an inspiring vision of the future that motivates people to make the journey with you. Keep narrating that story through words and actions, and you'll shape the mindsets needed for sustainable transformation.

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