Insight article

More innovative uses of stories…

We’re always on the look out for innovative ways in which organisations are using stories and storytelling. It’s a bit like spotting cars. Somehow its only when you buy a new model do you realise how many others there are on the road!

Here are two nice storytelling models I spotted on recent holidays…

On a trip last year to Dubrovnik, we stayed in a delightful hotel in the middle of the old town. Here is a place that is rich in stories, from its recent turbulent history to the myths and legends of an ancient seaport, and the hotel took full advantage. Every night, as the beds were turned down, as well as the usual pillow chocolate we got a bedtime story. A local legend of lovers banished on the rocks or a tale of feuding families, which sent us to sleep dreaming of our magical surroundings.

More recently, we were lucky enough to visit Jamie Oliver’s restaurant Fifteen, on the edge of Watergate Bay in Cornwall. As you may know, it is more than a restaurant. The Cornwall Foundation of Promise is a charity set up to give disadvantaged youngsters a new start in life by training them to become chefs. The restaurant is a key source of income for them, as well as an outlet for their training, but on its own it’s not enough. So on every table is a playing card. On the front is a picture of a young chef – mine was called Luke, and on the back was his story. It’s only about 120 words, and it starts with: ‘I had quite a chaotic childhood…’ There’s no added sentiment or hard sell, but the message is clear. Without your support, folk like Luke would be being looked after by the prison service, not serving you fine Italian cuisine. A small donation envelope sat underneath.

Two simple but memorable ideas.

Nailia Tasseel