Write a new narrative.
January - the time of year when business plans are formulated. Revenue objectives set. Marketing plans made. And budgets solidified. Year after year, we hope for radically better results from the usual staid inputs.
While you're busy building tactical plans for execution, at least one competitor is out there building a comprehensive and integrated strategy to win the whole game.
If you want new growth, change the narrative. If you want your teams to get out of their comfort zone, change the narrative. If you want transformative business results, change the narrative.
WHY WRITE A NEW NARRATIVE
In the context of innovation, narrative is both the destination and the journey. It helps orient priorities, guide investment decisions, drive product development choices and mobilise teams.
Narrative acts as a way of making the intangible, tangible. As a co-ordinating mechanism. As a ‘change lubricant’. A framework for pitching ideas. And a way of exploring the future.
That’s because stories sink deep in to the culture of our teams and into the hearts and minds of our audiences. They evoke a new reality.
It is one of the most powerful tools in a leader's toolkit.
GETTING A MAN ON THE MOON
As a history buff, one of my favourite speeches is Kennedy’s 1961 Man on the Moon Speech - which was a call for the US to place a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. If you haven’t read it, look it up.
It remains a model of clarity on how to use intentional narrative and set objectives in business.
- In his speech, Kennedy diagnosed the problem as world opinion.
He argued that the Soviet’s Union’s strategy of focusing its much poorer technological resources on space was leveraging, to its advantage, the world’s natural interest in these out of this world accomplishments. He argued that being first to land people on the moon would be a dramatic affirmation of American leadership. The U.S. had, ultimately much greater resources to draw upon; it was a matter of allocating and coordinating them.
- Kennedy did much more than simply point at objectives; he laid out the steps along the way.
Unmanned exploration, larger booster rockets, parallel development of liquid and solid fuel rockets, and the construction of a landing vehicle. This objective was feasible because engineers knew how to design and build rockets and spacecraft.
- It was about marshalling the resources and the political will.
“…We choose to go to the Moon … in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.”
YOUR PLAYBOOK FOR GROWTH IN 2024
Driving innovation and transformation is complex and requires intense and focused efforts, yet crafting your business narrative is fairly simple: This is where we want to be. This is how we're going to get there.
Once this roadmap is laid out simply, many decisions become easier to make, and teams make faster progress.
If you need help writing your business narrative, I will be offering my StoryDoing Sprint this year, an efficient way to unlock a fresh direction for your business. Drop me a note if you'd like details.
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