Developing a Strategic Narrative

Leadership communication: how to develop a strategic narrative

What is a strategic narrative?

A strategic narrative is central to employee engagement.  It provides a compelling business story that explains the company background, future goals and outlines how employees can contribute to this.

Giving employees insight into the overarching aims and goals, a strategic narrative can strengthen engagement and emotional connection with the company; providing opportunity to contribute and integrate from an early stage.

Why do you need a strategic narrative?

A strategic narrative can help engage staff with long-term goals of the company.  Aligning key messages, communicating change or outlining action plans; the narrative is a unifying document from which everyone can understand what the company is trying to achieve.

But how can you ensure your narrative is effective?

An effective strategic narrative is one with a clear and compelling storyline!  Just like a bestselling book, it needs a context for the story and compelling plot, provide incentive to read and be left wanting to read more:

  • The setup: This is the reason behind the narrative; putting the story in context before it begins and explaining its purpose in simple terms. It includes key historical moments of the company, milestones met, challenges overcome and successes achieved.
  • The story: This sets out a compelling vision for the company’s future; it provides the overarching focal point and long-term goals. It encapsulates the dramatic tension audiences love to read; giving valuable insight into the company and showing how this can be improved.
  • The resolution: This offers clear direction and an action plan to achieve the goals. It is the climax of the ‘story’ where it becomes clear how employees can contribute, prioritise and help meet the company goals.

And not forgetting….

For a strategic narrative to be truly successful always keep the audience in mind when creating the narrative.  It should offer employees a platform to emotionally engage in a shared vision, align opinions and teams and be motivated to shift mindsets and transform behaviours; striving for and superseding milestones that will continuously improve the company’s performance.

Key points to include in your strategic narrative

  • Always write with your audience in mind
  • Involve key contributors from the onset
  • Outline the fundamental structure of the narrative including its purpose, direction, goals and proposed action plan
  • Consider the language, style and tone of voice of the strategic narrative
  • Provide leaders with the opportunity to personalise segments of the narrative
  • Integrate the narrative into everyday actions to keep it alive
  • Continuously measure the narrative and its impact on the intended audience

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At ClearVoice™, we are experts in delivering employee communication and engagement solutions. We inspire, motivate and transform your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information or help with developing a strategic narrative, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.