Author: Jack Roberts

The state of storytelling

So much of our world is wrapped up inside the constancy of change. Only a few short years ago we had no smart phone. This is just one example of many innovations and progressions that have impacted our society. Think about how our daily story has changed since that time in 2007 at the launch of Apple’s iPhone. We now hold the whole of the world’s organised information on a device in our pockets and use it to argue with strangers or adopt an endless scroll of news we did not curate ourselves. We have greater access to data and solutions to large scale problems than ever before. But, how do we make sense of this?

Concurrently to information becoming the moniker for an age, the next age is emerging. Throughout human history each age seems to hold the seeds or perhaps the needs for the next age within it. This has been true of the information age. We are entering the age of stories. According to creativity author Daniel Pink,1 the information age will be supplanted by the conceptual age, the age of ideas. He posits that “right-brain”or “creative” people will be the next group of leaders in power in business and culture. Once all of the information is aggregated and we know what must be done, one of the only differentiators that will emerge is how it gets done. Pink believes this is why creativity will emerge and the conceptual age will begin. We see it happening today. Two companies may have similar products, similar market share, even similar values but the one engaging their audience creatively accelerates performance. This presents new challenges, too. A company may have extremely innovative concepts, may even be on the cusp of disrupting the market, but, without an inspiring way of communicating their ideas there’s no way to transform the concepts to measurable results. As we move past the information age and need to figure out what to do with all of this big data, we need ideas. But, without storytelling the ideas just become another kind of data point. And what happens in a world of competing ideas?

This is where storytelling comes in. Storytelling could well be called the craft that takes information into the form in which we can assimilate it, and do something with it. In this sense, then, concepts alone, ideation alone, is simply not enough in today’s changing and volatile world. With so many ideas and concepts to choose from in any given moment born from the sheer volume of information how we tell our story is more important that ever. Because this will become our differentiation in a sea of people speaking up for their ideas to be heard.

The Storytellers exercise these specialties for our many clients around the world bringing strategy to life through the power and influence of storytelling. One method in which this can be achieved is through the adoption of bespoke story-driven creative campaigns. By placing creativity through print, video, film, or television within a wider strategic narrative, our approach connects people to a bigger journey and motivates them with a purpose. Distilling the story down to a simple creative idea can amplify the essence of the overarching message, inspire people to learn from the ideas of their peers and make connections to their own. By equipping people with the means to challenge mindsets lasting behavioural change can be accomplished. By adopting a multi-faceted creative campaign alongside the launch of their Purpose, Vision and Values, one of our clients accomplished 2.1% volume growth and increased its trading margin by +30bps to 8.8%. In turn, the approach received industry wide recognition and remains integral to their strategy two years later.

We help inspire, accelerate, and transform their performance in the marketplace. Story or narrative is the power that will carry concepts forward at the end of the information age. The power of visuals drives a compelling narrative communicating to the feelings of people looking for a connection with your organisation. After all, data without a story is simply a set of numbers. Information without knowing how it best fits into the pressing needs of your customers is only idea competing with so many others. Stories create context and connect hearts and minds. These connections remind us of our needs and we then link those needs to the organisation telling the story. At The Storytellers we build these kinds of narratives everyday. At the end of the information age, we will need more than concepts. We need the power of narrative to communicate them. Perhaps then, we are entering into the Age of Story.


1 Pink, Daniel. (2014). A Whole New Mind. Riverhead Books.

Want more engaged employees? Tell a story

Every leader wants the best from their team. We know of a way to engage and unite your team, accelerate performance, and inspire your employees all at the same time. We are watching companies become the best versions of themselves every day and it starts with something simple that requires your attention. We’ve seen organisations rally behind seemingly impossible journeys.

With turnover rates and the cost of turnover rates higher than ever1, as leaders we must do more than foster a culture that stays engaged. We have to create it. We have to shape our story around it. It is no secret that it can be difficult to shift the culture of a company. To do so requires a change in the mindsets of our employees. Just take the recent moves at Microsoft to engender a growth mindset into the company’s DNA.2

We’ve found that it takes the power and influence of storytelling to make a real shift and create lasting change. Yes, story, the thing that tucked us in at night, entertains us when we tell ourselves, “just one more episode and then I’m going to bed.”

Did you know that storytelling is good for our bodies, too? It both physiologically and psychologically makes us happier. According to multiple studies of the mind, good stories can physically release the ‘love’ and ‘happiness’ hormone oxytocin in our brains.3 In one particular study published by the Harvard Business Review, Dr. Paul Zak and his lab studied the oxytocin levels of their participants as they were exposed to different forms of narrative storytelling and found that a character-driven story did cause more happiness hormone synthesis.4 The study also revealed that oxytocin production was directly correlated to how much a participant was willing to help others. This means the better the story – particularly where there is an element of struggle or endeavour that’s been overcome – the more engaged your employee. And leaders can use this tool to great advantage, to build empathy and trust amongst their teams in order to bring them with them on challenging journeys of change and performance improvement.

What would this be like? To experience work like we were living a great story? Like we were a part of something bigger than ourselves? A happier employee is far less likely to leave during your next wave of changes, dropping those turnover rates and their many costs. It also brings a renewed energy into your business and that impossible journey seems possible. One of our key learnings has been that authentic leaders, equipped with the the right story for their goals, their strategies, and their business, have a huge impact. We’ve watched teams achieve goals that only months before were discounted. We’ve seen people retract their resignations. We’ve seen attrition drop – often dramatically – together with absenteeism levels that are so often a symptom of disengagement.

Most importantly we’ve seen leaders embrace change and inspire truly remarkable stories. Because the secret is that its not always a culture problem or an operations problem, but a story problem. Indeed, our professional culture is a collection of stories our employees believe about our company.

At The Storytellers, we are watching renewal as our crafted storytelling inspires sustainable productivity, unites disparate teams, and accelerates individual and team performance alike. The change a good story makes sticks. Because, the simple truth is that people remember stories before facts.5

What could you accomplish if your employees really knew what you were building, how you were building it, and why? What could be created if everyone was inspired by what you were working towards? At The Storytellers this is the change we are creating for our clients. We are helping people make the impossible possible by telling a better story. We’ll help you give your employees the journey they need to give you the results you want.

At The Storytellers we build those journeys.



1. Hinkin, T. R., & Tracey, J. B. (2000). The cost of turnover: Putting a price on the learning curve. Link

2. Weinberger, Matt. (2017). How Microsoft’s CEO Showed His Employees Tough Love. Link

3. Stillman, Jessica. (2016). The Fascinating Thing That Storytelling Does to Your Brain. Link

4. Zak, Paul Dr. (2014). Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling. Link to source. Link

5. Callahan, Shawn. (2015). The Link Between Memory and Stories. Link