Within every company, there are influential communicators. And, they play a critical role in driving a company forward. They’re the ones who take ideas and turn them into concepts, they take concepts and create strategies, and they use strategies to drive actions and outcomes. Historically, some of the most influential communicators come from marketing or product. They could spin a tale and create energy behind ideas long before the company could see clear outcomes.
And while marketing folks are still building storylines, technology groups have emerged as owners of innovative thinking and are often the incubators of new directions in companies. But, unlike the marketing group, technologists are much more reluctant communicators. In fact, few of them have really thought about how to communicate their ideas and most have never been trained to develop a compelling story around an idea.
That’s a pretty big roadblock for moving ideas forward. And, it’s often why great ideas get stuck in R&D and major initiatives get sidelined. As we’ve worked with teams and witnessed buy-in around technology becoming stalled, poor communication is usually to blame.
There may be a few good communicators at the top of a technology organization, but they rarely have the bandwidth behind them to sell an idea up, down, and across an organization. And, that’s what it takes to build momentum behind ideas.
Stories are the ultimate communication tool because they bring interest into a conversation. Stories make information relevant and relatable to what we do. Stories make it easier to buy into strategies and inspire others to get on board with a new direction. And, stories are the common thread that link us to what has already happened and what is still to come.
But, most technologists aren’t sure how to use stories in business settings. And, as technologists are an increasingly crucial part of every function within a company – communicating a direction, a vision, or a key objective – few technologists get training on how to build storylines and how to use stories to make data memorable and repeatable to any audience.