Category: Change

Creating a movement and change resilient culture through storytelling

Virtual event – Monday 22nd April

4-4:45pm BST (11-11:45am EDT, 8-8:45am PDT)

In the recent Accenture research report ‘Reinvention in the age of generative AI’, the Life Sciences industry was identified as second only to Software and Platforms for an increase in the number of organisations building a culture for continuous reinvention – with 20% of the industry taking an early lead and advantage of the forecast revenue growth gap.

With constant transformation becoming BAU, we need to inspire and engage organisational talent to continuously adapt, adopting new skills and behaviours in support of the organisational strategy.

In this webinar we’re joined by Aimee Christian, VP Global Head Corporate Communications and Engagement at Jazz Pharmaceuticals, who has partnered with The Storytellers, part of Accenture, to deliver strategy engagement, culture change and transformation with four major organisations.

We will explore how to leverage the power of storytelling in strategic communications and activation programmes  – creating a resilient movement to drive change throughout an organisation.  Aimee draws on significant experience leading engagement and communications in Pharma and Life Sciences organisations such as Sanofi and Amgen, and will also be joined by Robert Tennant, Director Client Strategy, and Kirsty Spencer, Head of Strategic Communications at The Storytellers, part of Accenture.

In this session we will explore:

  • Insights into the psychological impact of change and transformation and the role narrative plays in creating a powerful movement of change
  • Successful activation, strategic communications and engagement strategies, particularly in global, highly matrixed and regulated industries such as Life Sciences
  • Skills that can help you as a leader to inspire and influence key stakeholders and your team
Please register your interest to attend this event using the form on this page.

Activating the power of human connection behind your EVP investments

Virtual workshop – Thursday 1st Feb 2024

2pm-3:30pm GMT

(9am-10:30am ET, 8am-9:30am CT)

Organisations continue to struggle to attract and retain the talent needed to deliver on their strategy whilst facing into new culture challenges created by hybrid working, and risks to productivity because of rapid transformation and uncertainty. During this workshop with HR leaders, we will explore how activating a people-centric EVP turns it into a critical tool to tackle these issues.

Developing a compelling employee value proposition with stand-out from other organisations – meeting the needs of individual employees and the overall organisational vision – is a significant investment that goes well beyond material and short-term benefits. How you bring your EVP story to life can make a huge difference to the overall value people connect with, and the commitment they make in return.

What you’ll experience

  • Explore how EVP can be a powerful thread throughout an employee’s lifecycle – from talent attraction, to cultural fit and performance, and career development
  • Understand how to leverage EVP to tackle talent strategy, hybrid working and productivity challenges
  • Gain practical insight into storytelling methods that create clarity and emotional connection, helping people understand and believe in the differentiated value of your EVP

Who should attend?

Senior HR leaders from large complex organisations who are interested in how to amplify the human connection to your EVP. Join us for an interactive story-driven session with a select cohort of your peers, delivered by experts with years of experience working with C-suites of Fortune 500 and FTSE 250 organisations.

Please register your interest to attend this event using the form on this page.

What makes a great story: #3 A call to action

No story is complete without a call to action, where the protagonist is compelled to take action, to set out on a journey to resolve a challenge or change a particular situation. This response is the catalyst for change, for resolution, for transformation. Without it, our hero (ourselves, in a business story) cannot find the meaning or purpose which we humans crave. Life would just drift on, the status quo unchanged. Quite boring really. Nothing to see here.

Look at what Sir David Attenborough has achieved. His meta story – his emotive, urgent call to change our behaviours to save the planet – has sparked a phenomenal response where we have been compelled to take action, putting pressure too on big business and governments to do the same. Whether recycling, moving to electric cars, planting wild flowers and trees or picking up litter, these small actions help us to feel that we are playing our part in tackling an existential threat, however small that part might feel. They bring us meaning and purpose in a worldwide movement of intent to make the world a safer, better place for generations to come. There is still a massive urgency, and obviously much, much more to do (don’t get me started on the issue of net zero goals), but chapeau to Sir David who has done so much to bring us awareness and a sense of duty to do our bit.

In business, a great strategic narrative has the same call to action – an honest, credible and transparent plea for active engagement and support, which is rooted in reality and links both the challenge the organisation is facing, what we need to do differently or better, and what success will look like if we meet and overcome that challenge together. Conversely, a poor internal narrative is one which simply talks about our strengths, our purpose, what we do for our customers and what a great place it is to work: a rosy picture of success that won’t make anyone feel uncomfortable enough to get out of their seat to do something different.

People need to feel valued – that they are playing their part in a bigger story of change and transformation. Leaders need to initiate conversations where their teams can proactively come up with ideas for different or better ways of working, that they are playing out their heroism rather than being victims of change. A rallying cry, a call to arms – that sense of being part of a movement that will bring a greater good – is tremendously motivating. It’s what engages and energises us, and brings us meaning, purpose and a sense of belonging. Together we can overcome the threat and conquer the world. Well, make a start, anyway.

Creating a movement of change – activating transformation

Virtual workshop – Tuesday 5th December 2023

2pm-3:30pm GMT

(9am-10:30am ET, 8am-9:30am CT)

We are hosting a workshop designed exclusively for senior leaders of large, complex organisations responsible for driving change and significant transformations.

In our current environment, new transformational strategies typically need to be implemented every 18-24 months compared to around every 5 years in recent times. For employees, the reality of constant change can result in a state of fear, confusion, cynicism and apathy, in stark contrast to the behaviours that are needed; innovation, agility, resilience and adaptability.

Yet people and culture are often an aspect of transformation that is deprioritised or value-engineered out of investment, considered a nice to have or too hard to tackle and measure. Not having a specific approach to activate people to deliver the transformation results in slow alignment and adoption, reduction in productivity and the risk of missing critical milestones and failing to realise the value of the transformation investment.

In this session we will explore how to overcome common pain points associated with people, culture and behaviour change.

What you’ll experience

  • Gain critical insights into the psychological impact of change and transformation
  • Understand the role narrative plays in creating a powerful movement of change, and the framework you can use within your organisation to activate people behind your strategy
  • Develop skills that can help you as a leader to inspire and influence key stakeholders and your team

Who should attend?

Senior leaders from large complex organisations who are interested in how you can activate people to accelerate change and create organisational resilience during significant transformation. Join us for an interactive story-driven session with a select cohort of your peers, delivered by experts with years of experience working with C-suites of Fortune 500 and FTSE 250 organisations.

This event has closed for registration. Please sign-up to our newsletter at the bottom of the page or follow us on LinkedIn for news of future events.

Discretionary distraction: The barrier to reaching your transformation ROI

Some reports say that over $2 trillion is currently being spent on transformation initiatives around the world. Whilst 10 years ago companies were undertaking this kind of initiative every 5-10 years, they are now doing it every two. It is undoubtedly a revolution of industrial scale. It’s also a lot of money to waste.

Back in the 90’s John Kotter announced that around 70% of major change initiatives failed to reach their intended goals. Nearly three decades later, research by Oxford University and EY shows that 67% of senior leaders have experienced at least one underperforming transformation in the last five years. It’s a damming statistic, but does it keep your average Chief Transformation Officer up at night? Probably not! No one believes their programme will be the one to fail, and anyway, if underperforming means not realising your long-term goals, then the cynic will point out that by that time the organisation will be onto the next wave of change.

But there is a more immediate challenge to overcome. Most transformation initiatives are designed to increase productivity in some way. But to get there, people need to learn to do things differently, which is unproductive. So, the key is to make this process, from the old to the new, as fast as possible, which in turn requires large amounts of discretionary effort. Engage people in the right way and you unlock this effort. Fail to engage people in the right way, and you create ‘discretionary distraction’ – where people spend time and effort worrying about and discussing the future. This slows the process down and increases the risk that KPIs are not met and the return on investment is delayed.

Discretionary distraction arises when people don’t have a clear story about why they are being asked to change, what way this change will benefit themselves and their customers, and how they can play their part and make a difference. And, as the research from the 90’s and 20’s consistently shows, this story and the process of change activation has to be done at an emotional level.

Storytelling is a proven way to engage the hearts and minds of people – master this, what we like to call the heart of transformation, and you will activate your people and accelerate your transformation KPIs.

Getting the rest of the team on board

Transformation pain point #96 

Let me share a story about Sarah.  

Sarah was a transformation leader who was known for her ambitious visions and a strong desire to drive change. She headed a team of talented individuals at a cutting-edge tech company, and she believed that a major transformation was necessary to stay ahead of the competition. 

Sarah had plans to shift the company’s focus towards envisioning a future where their products would revolutionise industries. She spent months crafting a detailed strategy, attending workshops, and consulting experts to ensure her vision was sound. 

A critical misstep

However, Sarah made a critical misstep – she failed to involve her team in the transformation process. She presented the plan in a single meeting, expecting everyone to immediately rally behind her vision. 

The team, however, was caught off guard. They were accustomed to their existing projects and methodologies, and the abrupt shift felt overwhelming. They had concerns about their existing skill sets becoming obsolete and feared the potential impact on their job security. 

As days passed, it became evident that Sarah’s approach had caused a rift within the team. Morale and engagement plummeted, and productivity suffered. Many team members felt disheartened and disconnected, unable to see how they fit into the new direction. 

Underestimated the emotional attachment

Sarah, in her determination to drive change, failed to recognise the importance of inclusivity, collaboration and communication. She had underestimated the emotional attachment her team had to the current journey and the uncertainty they felt about the future. 

Recognising the growing discontent, Sarah decided to take a step back and reevaluate her approach. She started by holding meetings with her team members, but instead of delving straight into charts and data, Sarah began with a story. She emphasised the potential they held and the incredible impact they could make if they embarked on this journey together. Sarah’s storytelling didn’t end in that meeting room. She continued to weave narratives into their everyday work.  

She encouraged her team members to share their own stories, fostering a culture of open communication and mutual support. These personal narratives became threads that wove the team together, creating a sense of belonging and a shared purpose. 

Belief and confidence

Sarah’s efforts bore fruit. The team started to see and believe in the opportunities of the transformation and gained confidence in their ability to navigate the new landscape. Through storytelling, Sarah managed to demystify the transformation process. She made it relatable, showing her team that they weren’t alone in their uncertainties. And because of this, they began to work together seamlessly towards the shared goal, advocating for the transformation. 

Through this experience, Sarah learned a valuable lesson about the importance of involving her team in the transformation process. She understood that successful change required not only a clear vision but also the support, understanding, and buy-in of the very individuals who would bring that vision to life. 

Humanised the transformation

Sarah’s use of storytelling had been the catalyst for this success. It had humanised the transformation, making it something they could all relate to and rally behind. It showed them that they were not just executing a plan, but actively writing the next chapter of their company’s story. 

It’s examples like this that show the true heart of mastering change.



Putting ourselves in sales leaders’ shoes

Selling is full of ugly jargon. Thinking of customers as ‘prospects’ and ‘leads’, and using expressions like pipelines, deal-flows, MQLs and customer acquisition costs gives selling and sales people a bad name.

So we’re telling the stories that are Reimagining Sales and enabling sales teams around the world to do the same. We help them to move away from the clichés and the staid products/benefits approach, shifting to the concept of potential outcomes for their customers, based on an understanding of their needs, objectives, and pain points.

Sales teams need to understand the journey customers are on and demonstrate how they empathise with their situation. It’s time to ‘PUT YOURSELF IN THEIR SHOES’

At The Storytellers we think deeply about business strategies for clients and marry that with distinctive, creative story-driven approaches.   We’ve explored the story that is common to sales leaders and their teams – it’s a peek into our smart thinking around outcome-based selling, coming together with an engaging idea to motivate audiences both rationally and emotionally.

Don’t wait for the other shoe to drop. Have a read and reimagine the power of your sales.


Chapter One: As successful salespeople, we are great storytellers who built our careers on trust


Where does it hurt

Chapter Two: But our clients needs have evolved, and they are paralysed by FOMU


Chapter Three: We can create mutually rewarding partnerships


Get unstuck

Chapter Four: By sharing our knowledge and insights, focusing on client outcomes


Bespoke solutions that last

Chapter Five: And deeply understanding our clients’ stories


Lift off

Chapter Six: We will put ourselves in our clients’ shoes, generate deep sales and exceed our targets



What’s your story – how can we help you inspire your organisation with it?


How ready are you to accelerate your strategy?

Take the Activation Healthcheck

Organisations that are thriving today know how to activate their people – to unlock their ability to accelerate change, transform performance and respond to the rapidly changing world they operate in. This need to galvanise people to act and change becomes even more critical when an organisation is undertaking a transformation.

When this is done successfully we’ve seen how businesses have:

  • Accelerated the implementation of their change programme leading to a quicker realisation of business benefits
  • Improved employee retention and lowered absenteeism during the change
  • Maintained and even improved operational performance during the change
  • Substantially improved engagement scores, especially around understanding and accepting change, and improved confidence in the leadership

We’ve spent 20 years researching and practising how to activate organisations effectively. We know people are more likely to act and change if they have the mindset and motivation to do so, they believe they have the means to take action and make a difference and they see momentum building behind their own efforts. From these principles we have identified nine key drivers of successful activation. The things that drive people to get involved, make a difference and create extraordinary achievements. 

But change is hard. So just how ready are you and your business to do this successfully? Contact us using the form on this page to enquire about receiving a personalised report that will give you an insight into where you are and what you need to focus on.


Download the free ebook: Nine drivers to accelerate your strategy

Understand how high-performance organisations activate their people to accelerate change and overcome strategic challenges.


There’s a reason why 70% of strategic change initiatives fail to realise their original objectives. It’s the human side of strategy and change that time and again is the determining factor.

Working with organisations to activate their people to deliver significant change strategies over the last 20 years, we’ve identified the nine key drivers which accelerate activation, engage colleagues in strategic challenges and unlock discretionary effort and ingenuity.

These range from overcoming the fear, confusion and apathy often associated with change, through a clear and compelling narrative, to ensuring leaders are aligned and championing the strategy, avoiding conflicting points of view and diversion of focus and effort. All nine are explored in this ebook. 

How this ebook will help:

  • Clear, summarised and easily digestible list of the nine factors that need to be in place for strategy to be effectively activated
  • Outlines the common situations when strategy activation is critical
  • Provides a framework that can be used to assess and establish what you need to prioritise to activate your people in the journey you are on 

Complete the short form to immediately download your copy