By Stuart Maister, Chief Storyteller, Strategic Narrative

How was 2019 for you? Was it successful? Did you deliver that transformation you planned? Did you grow as you’d hoped? Did you develop that key account?

Wait a minute. I’m posting this in 2018. Why am I asking this question?

Here’s why. It’s undeniable that reality is a story borough to life. That means your performance next year will reflect the narrative you develop in advance.

This 4 minute video sets out 4 questions you should ask to get that story right. This will make your next year even more successful, because you’ll know the narrative you want to create.

It’s the third in a series of five videos looking at how to deliver transformational leadership to your team, your business and your key accounts. 


What is the narrative?

I don’t mean the spreadsheets, graphs, charts and metrics. I mean the narrative that engages you, your team, your customers and your other key constituencies and provides clarity and guidance to what you do and how you do it.

So, that means this: write the narrative before 2019 starts, or at the very least early in the new year. Here are four tips on how to do this. I suggest you do this as a team (guess what, I lead workshops to help my clients achieve this).

Firstly: what will make 2019 distinctive, special or great? Can you name one thing? Can you name two things? And what’s the third?

Secondly: are there a few big themes which will be the train tracks along which your train will run? These may be big strategic changes or specific initiatives that will change the organisation; OR they may be about changes taking place in your marketplace or among your clients – you need to be associated with these and so they may be an area for focused attention.

Thirdly – how do you do what you do? Most critically: how will you accentuate this in 2019 so that the difference between you and the other guys is even stronger and clearer? This is about culture, methodology, approach, service mix – the things which make you, you and not another firm in the same marketplace.

Finally, the big one – the why question. Why are we doing what we’re doing in 2019? Why have we chosen the strategy we’re following? Why should I care about any of this if I am an employee or customer?

This is also about purpose, mission and vision. How are we getting closer to our vision, delivering on our mission and manifesting our purpose in 2019?

It won’t surprise you to know that I help leadership to think this through and articulate the narrative, and I can run a workshop for you and your team to sharpen this up. Or I give keynote presentations at leadership awaydays to help everyone focus on these key issues. If that’s of interest, let me know.