Podcasts
October 27, 2021

The Importance Of Narrative with Guillaume Wiatr

The Importance of Narrative

The Difference Between a Story and a Narrative

At 00:55 Guillaume admits that he spent many years researching what makes a good storyteller and that he finally realized that storytelling is the most natural thing we all do. In fact, he had used the words ‘story’ and ‘narrative’ interchangeably for many years of his career. However, at 02:41 he eventually came to the conclusion that maybe ‘story’ and ‘narrative’ are two different words for a reason, so he began to research. This research led him to discover that there is a fundamental difference between a ‘story’ and a ‘narrative,’ which is that a ‘story’ is a recount of an event and related facts. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end, even when told in the future. With a story, the audience is a passive “consumer of a product that has been crafted by a storyteller.”

However, at 03:38, Guillaume reveals that a narrative is open-ended and “promotes a particular point of view, its future focus, and a story.” A narrative mobilizes its participants to engage in it and help contribute to it. It is a movement.

How Does the Narrative Apply Business

The narrative allows one to engage their participants; to look at the people surrounding their company and basically, with the narrative you are writing, invite them to help in the movement. One cannot fully control the narrative but can be the main participant, the founder, and at 07:13 Guillaume explains that one can initiate an intentional system of stories that all have a common denominator, which creates the narrative and mobilizes people to participate in a new opportunity to continue to build the narrative.

Control is for Beginners

We live in a world where companies have a rigid system of organization and treat their employees as if they are just a number or just another resource, like a machine. There is so much control, that there is no meaning. However, the world is quickly changing and people no longer want to work for companies where all meaning is lost. At 09:46 Guillaume explains that humans are made to improvise and adapt, so when there is so much control, we cannot do what we are built to do as humans and we do not grow as a whole. Letting go of control allows us to be more aware, more conscious, and enables us to rethink our leadership. 

But how do we put this into practical action? Guillaume has developed a Strategic Narrative Canvas that is broken into four quadrants- internal to external, collective to individual- that helps organize the systems of stories that eventually create the narrative. It is about innovation in the way organizations run, to get their teams involved in the narrative, to adapt to it, and align with it. Learn more about this at 13:22.

What is a Strategic Narrative

A strategic narrative is a deep dive into all aspects of the organization, its story, its WHY, to create alignment on all levels and close any gaps. This will instill confidence in the customer and also breed motivation and inspiration by circling back to the beginning of why the narrative was started in the first place. Learn more about this at 20:48.

Invitation, Participation, Motivation

Guillaume offers a seven-week Strategic Diary Workshop that is customized to the individual to teach the principles that he knows and believes in to help build the foundation for the strategic narrative. He helps get the intentional stories organized to create a new narrative and promise for the organization. Beyond the workshop, he also offers to work on a much larger scale within the company, long-term, to further dissect the system of stories and breathe life into the narrative, to evolve the narrative, and to remember the narrative as needed in order to continue to strengthen the foundation of the narrative. This can be heard at 26:21.

Building a strong narrative requires one to take responsibility for that narrative. You cannot abdicate that power to someone else and expect the narrative to be credible or resonate. In Guillaume’s words, “you have to do it on your own, but you do not have to do it alone.” You have to dig deep and invite your team to participate so that they understand the WHY and are motivated to continue to grow the narrative because you are building it together. 

Daily Writings

If you join Guillaume’s email list here you will receive his daily writings where he shares his thoughts, experiences, and success stories, as well as elements of his framework. You will also receive access to his origin story template, which is the first thing he goes over in his workshop, along with other resources and videos that he posts on his website. 

KEY NUGGETS

(00:55) The Difference Between a Story and a Narrative

(07:13) How Does the Narrative Apply Business

(09:46) Control is for Beginners

(20:48) What is a Strategic Narrative

(26:21) Invitation, Participation, Motivation

(32:12) Daily Writings

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