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This is an interesting question, I think. Usually, when there’s a need for two versions, the actual internal story isn’t all that positive. In a true authentic culture story, alignment is a moot point.
When it comes to story alignment a few questions come to mind:
- Why is there an internal story AND an external one?
- Which one is more accurate? (Probably the internal one.)
- If the external one is more positive than it should be, is it actually messaging?
- Can anyone share the different external story with a straight face? People probably can with the accurate one. Of course, accuracy is also part perception for each individual.
- Can anyone actually keep track of which story is supposed to be external and which one isn’t? I have seen cases where people would use one set of words to describe a situation internally, they would often default to those same descriptors when sharing the different external story on the outside.
- Or, if the stories don’t align, do we just default to sharing no story at all?
Story alignment in authentic storytelling isn’t about messaging the most perfectly spun story.
It’s about deciding what your actual story is. Then share that. If you don’t like the actual story, the most authentic way would be to:
- Determine why not.
- Change our actual story – the purpose for doing whatever it is that we are doing.
- Then share that new story.
But, but, but, it’s so much easier to come up with a message. “This sounds good. So that should be our story. ”
And inauthentic stories can work in the short term. They can even help lead to short-term financial success. But what if they are found out? Relationships can suffer and long-term success might not happen.
In addition, it’s almost impossible for people to share inauthentic, untrue – even partially – with their networks long term.
So why not determine what we stand for, live our story and tell it authentically?
What’s your story?
Tweet me at @ctrappe.