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- Deciding what topics we have something to say about and then deciding to get started.
- Workflow – who is doing what and when and how long will it take?
- Maneuvering office politics,
All three, alone or as combinations can kill authentic storytelling projects. Maneuvering office politics and outdated processes inefficiently can stop any good story from being shared publicly. And you know what happens to stories that aren’t shared: They die.
Just like culture (aka office politics) eats strategy for breakfast, it eats authentic storytelling for lunch – especially when we aren’t watching what’s served for each meal.
Sharing authentic stories takes a bit of conviction, guts and motivation to begin with. The more difficult it is to maneuver office politics that work again the publishing of stories the more likely it is that the projects fails.
This is especially true the higher the discussion goes in an organization’s chain of command.
Changing how stories are shared from the traditional marketing model can be scary and it’s likely that somebody will fight it. This can happen openly or covertly.
These steps can help you maneuver through office politics (though not necessarily quickly) and get your authentic storytelling strategy off to a start with potential:
- Identify your advocates on all levels. Who is on board and who isn’t? Who is willing to voice their support vocally and help influence others? Remember that advocates on all levels of an organization can have influence. The higher you go the more formal power and influence advocates can offer.
- Identify influencers of internal leaders. Leaders in many organizations are influenced by people on the outside. In a nonprofit, the CEO is likely to listen to his or her volunteers. Friends of a leader in your organization might use your product and know a C-level executive. The outside people’s feedback to internal leaders can help move projects forward when positive.
- Check in with your executive sponsor. Make sure your executive is up to speed on how things are going. This way he or she can share successes and continue to advocate for the project with other executives.
- Share successes as publicly as possible. The more people know the better. Definitely share stories with leaders. If possible, share some successes on a blog and – depending on your market – share them with the media or a local, regional or national journal that covers your industry.
Sharing authentic stories shouldn’t be that difficult.
- Identify the story.
- Document the story.
- Publish the story.
- Grow as a business because people who believe in your stories join you as customers.
But instead, many projects can be and are influenced by office politics. Instead of complaining about how nice it would be if there were no office politics, we might as well acknowledge them and figure out how to maneuver through them.
The better we are at including a path through office politics in our authentic storytelling plan, the more likely we are to get the program off to a great start and a successful completion.
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