Category: Visions of the Future

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

Watch on-demand: Two inspirational days of masterclasses and discussion

To celebrate 20 years pioneering the transformative power of storytelling to execute strategy, accelerate change and unlock extraordinary performance, we hosted a series of bite-sized masterclasses from master storytellers sharing the art and science of storytelling – these are now available to watch on demand.


Fill in the form to watch all sessions



Agenda Tuesday 23rd May


View full session and speaker details here



  • 1pm BST – Opening keynote: organisations of the future will be story-driven
  • 2pm BST – Storytelling: the secret weapon for change
  • 3pm BST – Immersive experience: how to make your people the hero of your story
  • 4pm BST – The nine drivers to accelerate the activation of your strategy
  • 5pm BST – A strategic writer’s perspective – how to develop and activate your organisation’s story


Wednesday 24th May


View full session and speaker details here



  • 1pm BST – How creative concepts have the power to activate entire organisations
  • 2pm BST – Creating speeches that move mountains
  • 3pm BST – Increase your leadership influence and impact through storytelling
  • 4pm BST – Activating your organisation using story-driven nudge behaviours
  • 5pm BST – Closing reflection: stories that shape the 21st Century


Complete the short form to access all on-demand content


Why activating your people is critical for successful M&A

Organisations pursue mergers or acquisitions for a variety of reasons: entry into new markets, plays for innovation or new talent, and customer-base expansion to name a few. In the current turbulent environment, we see that many deals are focused on productivity rather than pure financial objectives. With that core objective in mind, the ability to rapidly activate the optimisation strategy is critical to M&A value creation.

Whatever their nature, our research with Mergermarket confirms that mergers and acquisitions are notoriously difficult to execute effectively. One of the common reasons for failure is that leaders underestimate the importance of – and focus too little on — the people and culture factors in the equation. This is even more heightened when the purpose is to achieve operating synergies, which can be put at risk through underperformance and talent attrition because employees are unclear on the role they play, fearful of change and in turn become demotivated, quietly quit or loudly leave.

Featuring insights from senior M&A executives at major global blue chips around the world, our eBook shares findings gathered through a survey of 100 senior executives.


  • Why people and culture matter in M&A, and what happens when they are neglected
  • How to build cultural alignment and engagement
  • Why resetting the narrative is key and insight into the story-driven methodology The Storytellers has successfully employed to activate employees in post-merger integration strategies

Complete the short form to immediately download your copy

Why the human side of digital transformation is more important than ever

The greatest challenge of digital business transformation is keeping it human. Your people and customers are integral to that process, and the story you tell about the benefits of this change could define the very future of your organisation.

“We live in a digital world,” said the internet entrepreneur Omar Ahmad, “but we’re fairly analogue creatures.” We crave the fuzzy warmth of the human, even as the cold, crisp inevitability of digital transformation accelerates rapidly around us.

As a leader, you can marry both worlds within your organisation by dovetailing the human and the digital in one seamless story of success. But what are the challenges that first need to be understood as you embark on your digital transformation journey?

Looking inwards: overcoming resistance to change

As the pandemic gathered momentum, it was all hands to the pump – people embraced the need for new digital solutions in the ‘needs must’ atmosphere of crisis management. But as our lives begin to return to a semblance of ‘normal’, there is a danger that your workforce will gradually feel less engaged with new ways of working that are very much here to stay.

Therefore, it’s crucial that your people feel empowered, not intimidated, by these new digital tools, as part of an inspiring and innovative business culture of continuous learning:

  • Your leadership needs to be authentic and visible, so that your employees understand that the organisation’s core values are still aligned with their own.
  • Your people must feel part of a coherent and cohesive organisational story, in which their own individual narratives about the digital transformation experience are included and valued.
  • And the transformation journey must take advantage of cross-team communities, where ideas and solidarity alike are encouraged to flourish and pollinate your company’s digital evolution.

Unless your workforce is united by and committed to digital transformation through this culture of continuous learning, your organisation is at risk of fracturing into increasingly isolated silos, whereby departments retreat into favoured ways of working and preferred technologies. The solution is systems thinking – a holistic, inclusive receptiveness to cross-organisational problem-solving, in which everybody’s voice is heard.

Communication is key, across vertical and horizontal axes. How do your employees exchange ideas, or express dissatisfaction? How well are you, as their leader, helping them understand the ways in which digital tools can protect the security of communications and data, improve and simplify workflows, and enable workers to touch base with colleagues across different departments and time zones? Are they aware of all the ways in which AI can augment the workforce, enhance creativity, personalize the experience of their customers, and create new collaborative opportunities amidst the thrilling potential of the ‘metaverse’?

Looking outwards: your customers are more than just ‘data’ points

Big Data has given organisations unprecedented access to their customers’ habits, needs and desires, and has allowed them to tailor their products and services accordingly, and with ever greater efficiency.

But it’s easy to lose sight of the human being hidden behind the digital noise they create. We see with ever greater clarity the granular specificity of commercial behaviours, but as more processes become further automated or managed by AI, our view of the beauty and individuality of human experience seems to become more clouded.

In order to extract the warm human analogue from the data-driven digital, business leaders need to embrace big ideas alongside Big Data. In the Insights 2030 report from data consulting company Kantar, empathy emerges as the key consideration when seeking to understand your customers as people, rather than habits. Empathy is the heartbeat of storytelling, and storytelling is the medium through which both your inward- and outward-facing communications will be at their most powerful.

The human warmth we crave need not be lost in the dizzying maelstrom of the digital transformation journey. The ‘analogue’ of the human experience within your organisation can itself become its central story – a narrative about an empathetic company culture that embraces ideas and innovation. Digital transformation presents an opportunity – to tell a compelling story that makes sense of these changes, celebrates the myriad ways they will benefit your workforce and its customers, and unites your people behind an energizing, inherently human common purpose.

Future-proofing your organisation in 2022

How leaders will grow resilience and relevancy through storytelling

Every day, we see firsthand the complex challenges that impact how people perform, and the opportunities leaders must seize to ensure their organisation remains relevant and resilient for years to come. 

In our experience, to ensure your business can adapt to any number of potential new scenarios, your people must be able to quickly make sense of the situation they face and feel empowered to take the right course of action to resolve it. 

In today’s non-linear world, rigid long-term plans can prove a burden or soon become irrelevant. Therefore, a strong compelling narrative will ensure everyone in your organisation understands their role and the purpose of what they do – even if the business goal or strategy has to quickly shift. This narrative can help you to establish the right culture to combat the aforementioned brittleness, as well as encouraging innovation and creativity so that your organisation can remain agile and maintain competitive advantage. It can also be used to help leaders build connection and belonging to help people to overcome their anxieties.

Featuring insights from members of The Storytellers team, our eBook on future-proofing your organisation considers how leaders can unleash the power of their organisation’s story to create belief and shift mindsets in the face of the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Explore how to:

  • Accelerate your ESG strategy
  • Embed hybrid working
  • Elevate your EVP
  • Sustain digital transformation
  • Lead with empathy

Complete the short form to immediately download your copy

Accelerating ESG strategy – what future story will your organisation create?

There’s no escaping it – environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy is now a critical part of the boardroom agenda. Among the business leaders working with The Storytellers, we’ve noticed a clear shift in mindset and response too. 

Underlined by the growing climate crisis, and further highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, ESG has gained greater prominence because of how it’s seen by stakeholders and investors as a way to safeguard organisations against future risks to the global economy. It focuses on the areas of business that matter most to employees and, as highlighted in the latest EY Future Consumer Index, provides opportunities for businesses to create value and grow revenues by responding to the trend for sustainable consumption. 

Today, as business leaders around the world also come to terms with the practical implications of the outcomes of the COP26 summit – and the monumental task of decarbonising the global economy – there is a clear need for organisations to quickly turn their ESG strategy into meaningful action. Investors want clarity about the initiatives companies are undertaking, the reporting they are doing, and the returns they will generate. Brands around the world will increasingly be looked at and recognised for their leadership towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and employees are pursuing purpose at work. In short, taking no or limited action will simply become untenable. 

Ahead of us lies one of the biggest changes in mindset and strategy that the world has ever seen – but for businesses to deliver on this at the necessary pace and scale, they will also need to leverage the power of their people to make change happen. Leaders need a powerful narrative to begin to activate a movement within their organisations and around their brands. A narrative that connects people to the reasons for change and helps them to understand their role in achieving these bigger, better ESG outcomes for the benefit of everyone.

Talent and purpose

What ultimately brings us meaning and purpose is contributing to something larger than ourselves. Just like the climate change movement, the workplace is made up of thousands of stories of endeavour and achievement, but also disengagement and failures. Crucially, these stories shape our belief about the organisations we work for and the leaders who guide us. A strong narrative that articulates the collective purpose, the journey an organisation needs to take, and what success looks like, provides a vehicle through which we can play out our own personal ambition. Ultimately, top talent will want to be part of meaningful journeys that they truly connect with.

Turning strategy into action

To move their people from passively understanding the strategy to being compelled to act in service of it – leaders must identify ways to build ownership. People are more likely to take positive action if they feel they’ve helped to create it. Empowering teams and employees to identify ways in which they can contribute to a strategy unleashes great rewards.

Employee engagement and accelerated change

Whatever your views on a “disengagement crisis” one thing is clear –  employees that are inspired by their work are happier, more productive and are more likely to achieve remarkable things. With the scale of change ahead, this is the moment for leaders to challenge themselves – is engagement enough? Our experience shows that if leaders can find a mechanism to unite their people, inspire them and provide a clear plan, they can accelerate change and transform performance.

Brand perception and leadership legacy

Ultimately, leaders and organisations will be judged on this moment. Aside from taking action to benefit or mitigate the reputational risks to their brand, what was their wider response? What was the story of their organisation? How did they approach change and how successful were they in contributing to one of humankind’s greatest challenges?

If ever there was an opportunity to write a story for the ages – this is it.

Exploring the true meaning of ‘digital’

The power of digital has saved us as a nation, enabling organisations, colleagues, communities, friends and families to stay connected through a period of dramatic disruption. We now have a better understanding of the value that digital can bring to us, both as individuals and collective communities. A rare opportunity has been created for organisations to connect humans and digital much more closely – paving the way forward together as a truly social enterprise.

It seems every organisation has been racing to become more ‘digital’ over the years, but have we ever stopped to understand what it means to us individually and to different groups of people? Have you stopped to think about what being ‘more digital’ means to you?

For executives, digital transformation may mean new technology platforms and using data-driven insights to make better decisions. For millennials and Gen Z, the ability to switch between apps, influence an audience and have a platform for their voice to be heard. For others, it may be purely using a smartphone, or engaging with customers in new, innovative ways. None of these are incorrect – it can mean so many different things to each of us, but no wonder such varied perspectives make alignment and a common vision very tricky for a leadership team.

Pioneering a digital future

The pandemic accelerated every transformation, especially digital, and emphasised a need for every executive team to revisit their vision of the future and the role digital plays in it – a future which is upon us much faster than we expected. We are seeing a shift for leaders from an inward-facing defence position to one that has to be leading the attack with their teams. The big challenge is to build resilient businesses and create a customer experience that is not only digital but also human and personal. 

Take Spotify, which is leading the way on this: the top dog of the music streaming world, which focuses consistently on delivering a seamless, human user experience and building communities through playlists. It uses data analytics to personalise playlist content for us based on preferences and trends. Now it is taking bold strides to dominate the world of podcasting too. But what’s the secret behind its success?

Technology and humans are completely interconnected. Spotify’s revolutionary internal model of ‘squads and tribes’ has been an inspiration to many and allowed it to unite small, cross-functional teams behind a common purpose. This nimble approach has created a distinctive people culture which is strongly connected with the role of digital, allowing it to interact closely with customers and co-create new solutions at pace.

Unlock empowerment and purpose 

Indeed, not every organisation can quickly implement a squads and tribes model but every organisation has a purpose to unite people and can use this to explore what digital means to them. In a recent study by Deloitte, 79 percent of respondents said “fostering a sense of belonging in the workforce” was important or very important in the next 12-18 months. As we move through to the recover and thrive phase of the current pandemic, purpose has never been so important to connect colleagues, helping them understand the role they play alongside digital and, as things change, ensure they feel empowered to prioritise and make decisions.

Focus on mindset

Digital is not just about the technology, it’s a mindset. It’s the behaviours we exhibit, the relationships we create and the attitude with which we approach our work. If leaders fail to bring people along the journey with them without context and a clear understanding of the part they play alongside digital, they risk chronic disengagement. Where people who are not upskilled nor empowered to adapt and experiment, organisations will be slow to act and will quickly lose relevance in the market.

Taking an open approach and creating a culture of continuous learning with the ability to move fast, change direction and innovate will be the difference between those that fail, those that survive and those that thrive. To do this, we need to galvanise people, set clear goals and connect to purpose – it is only then will people feel inspired to anticipate desired customer outcomes and bring fresh ideas to the table. 

And connect your people… 

Here are five things that are helping our clients to focus on connecting people to rethink what digital means to them, and ensure transformation is adopted at scale and pace:

  1. Authentic and visible leadership is critical to help to shape the future. There is nothing more powerful than seeing an Executive team aligned behind a compelling story which connects people to purpose – openly acknowledging challenges but also providing stability and hope
  2. Instil a culture of continuous learning and innovation where colleagues are encouraged to rapidly design and innovate, no matter what the level or part of the organisation they are in
  3. Tell stories – both stories of success, but also face failure head on. Don’t be afraid to discuss these as a team to help to connect colleagues on an emotional as well as a rational level
  4. Create cross-team communities to connect people in new ways, bridge silos which can develop more when working remotely,and help others to understand what is happening in other parts of the business
  5. Prioritise clear communication channels and collaboration tools. It is worth agreeing these as a wider team. After a period of remote working, it is beneficial to have a group conversation on what’s working and what’s not, to learn and focus on what to take forward for the future with a clear purpose for each.

A couple of thoughts to finish with:

Is your organisation connecting colleagues, customers and communities to a common purpose? 

How is your organisation rethinking what digital means to them – what does it mean to you?

Let’s start a conversation, we’d love to hear from you.