Insight article

A new hope

There is hope in stories.

Our journey to the ‘new normal’ has been an arduous one. There have been times for all of us when our destination has seemed out of reach: a distant light in the darkness. What will this safe haven look like, and what will our role in it encompass? Are we, and our world, forever changed? 

Businesses around the world are now faced with challenges unimaginable barely months ago. As we slowly emerge from the lockdown, we may still struggle under the weight of so many personal and public memories, at work and at home, full of sadness for what we have lost and fear for an uncertain future.

How do we regroup? How do we ensure that we do not lose disengaged employees to companies who are committed to making a greater contribution to society? How do we reassure team members that we too have a clear purpose and vision in this startling new world? In a reconfigured employment landscape of remote working, are we fully cognisant of the pitfalls of failing to create fully collaborative teams, and the catastrophic drops in performance that may follow?

We all have a story to tell from the last few months. Stories record the worst of times. And they lead us, renewed, into the best.

Multinational brewery and pub chain Brewdog understands this better than most. Famous for its craft beers and lagers, Brewdog has benefitted from the 30 per cent increase in alcohol sales across the UK during the lockdown. But it has also pivoted to a new model that embraces the needs of a new reality, with ‘Business as a Force for Good’ as its narrative. Its Aberdeen distillery now produces hand sanitiser, with over £1 million pounds’ worth of these supplies being donated to health care charities, key frontline workers & NHS Hospitals. Its founders are all foregoing their salaries for 2020 to protect the jobs of its employees. Its Colombus, USA operation is donating canned water to food pantries and homeless shelters.

None of these innovations would be possible without a common understanding throughout the entire organisation of how Brewdog can both continue to thrive and contribute to a greater good. The message from its CEO, James Watts, is a pithy one, but its simplicity tells a bigger story: “United we will get through this.”

The most inspiring leaders – the game-changers who can navigate our passage to and through the new normal, and bring everyone along with them, with a shared and humane impetus – are the ones who can connect people with story.

Our multi-disciplined team at The Storytellers has the unique narrative tools to assist you in articulating your company’s own clear, compelling purpose. You’ll achieve collective ownership of the story in a truly connected organisation: united in its vision, and full of hope for the future. 

There is hope in stories. The Storytellers will help you tell yours. 

To find out more about the power of story, download our e-book: Storytelling: how to reset an organisation’s narrative to inspire change, and get in touch with our consultants today: connect@thestorytellers.com.

Alastair Hagger

Alastair Hagger

Associate

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