Page 6 - VOICE December 2014

Basic HTML Version

and good when people need to know things, but
when you want to take them in a new direction
with you…well, the story has to be a bit more com-
pelling and meaningful.
This is often one of the key barriers Jane works
with managers to help them influence and drive
the performance of their teams. They might genu-
inely see and believe in the value of storytelling as
a key manager role – but they don’t have the
sub-
stance
to make it as effective as possible. This is an
important distinction that The Culture Builders
highlights in their bespoke profiling tool which was
developed as a way to measure the key engage-
ment skills of line managers. The profiling tool
shows that, to be truly effective across each of the
five roles (including that of Storyteller), managers
need:
A strong
belief
in the role i.e. I know this role is
of key value to how I lead and manage my teams
Making the commitment to consciously take
ac-
tion
and do it – even though it might not come
‘naturally’
Drawing on one’s experience of doing it, learning
from it and so on until it forms the very
sub-
stance
of how you manage others
Take for example, Karen’s recent experience of
working with one of Values Based Leadership’s cli-
ents. The company was keen to develop their man-
agers’ storytelling skills but the technically-minded
culture meant that the stories themselves were
presented more as facts and information.
By using The Culture Builders Engagement Intelli-
gence Profiling tool as part of a larger workshop to
address their organisation’s culture, Karen was
able to encourage individuals to share inspiring
stories about their organisation. One memorable
story was about a retired employee who still, to
this day, cycles from his home to the front gates of
the organisation’s offices each morning. When he
had worked there he cycled to work each morning
and upon reaching retirement he maintained the
exercise for both fitness purposes and for the feel-
ing of enjoyment he felt travelling to an organisa-
tion he loved working for.
It is these types of stories which connect employ-
ees to the organisation and engage them in it’s pur-
pose.
Book Review
The Virgin Way
by Richard Branson
The Virgin Way
contains powerful lessons for anyone
working in business. Branson discusses subjects such
as the importance of listening, learning and how to
keep people engaged with the business. The book also
focuses on the importance of creating a working envi-
ronment that is fun, where staff can be sure they are
listened to, and how this can be used as a way to build
teamwork, passion and loyalty. I particularly enjoyed
learning that Branson doesn’t have a fixed office
which he expects employees to travel to; he instead
makes an effort to visit his em-
ployees at their location. It is
these details which have helped
Branson create a Virgin culture
in
which
employees
feel
"valued, empowered and trust-
ed" so they can "go out and
make amazing things happen".
Whilst
The Virgin Way
didn’t
present a challenging read, I
would recommend this book
because there are important lessons that both leaders
and aspiring leaders can use to improve their leader-
ship style and develop a more positive culture in their
organisation.
Reviewed by Laura Robertshaw
Values Based Leadership
Publisher: Virgin Books
She defines a Storyteller as someone
who can weave every-day examples
into their communication in such a
way that it helps people connect the
dots, see the bigger picture – and
take action.”
It’s only when the right stories are
told in the right way, and for the
right reasons, that managers
succeed in igniting a deeper, more
emotional spark that resonates with
people. Stories can shift perceptions
and create a moment of personal
connection that people seek. ”