Insight article

The age of story

Welcome to the age of meaning. 

Today’s world is like nothing we’ve ever known.

The forces of change – health, technology, globalisation, demographics, climate – transform the way we work, live and learn.

In an age of staggering human connection, networks thrive, world-views are overturned, the power of personal testimony builds empathy with billions. But by living plugged-in lives, we struggle with isolation, anxiety and a rising politics of division; physically disconnected from our communities, we battle to connect action to the moral imperatives of our time.  

Our future is fragile. As nation states withdraw their benevolence from our lengthening lives, we look to work as our long-term security. Yet our skills are threatened, in a talent pool expanding at the rate of digital connection. 

It’s an astonishing shift. As the digital divide disappears, our ability to adapt will see us sink or swim. 

We urgently seek meaning: new narratives to anchor us in disorienting waters, to give us a reason to evolve. We’re sceptical of the myths that bind us to thoughtless work, to old forms of power. We distrust, but we hope. There is a new social contract to be struck.

We need authenticity from our leaders: we’re tired of the gaps between words and action. We want our work to align with our values: we see it as an extension of ourselves. We seek purpose: we’ve watched the world burn in the name of profit, and we want to be part of something more valuable than a pay check.

We crave a story about who we really are.
A story we’re proud to tell.

Welcome to the new age of leadership.

The currents are unpredictable. Old maps are useless, hierarchies invalid. You will navigate transformation, disruption, upheaval; shocks, disasters, pandemics. The rise of the new, the decline of the old. 

And shareholder expectations haven’t shifted. The City never sleeps. 

Your business has responded. The engine of management has kicked into gear. The air feels thick with change, but it’s hard to see open water in the darkness. Your teams are overwhelmed. You sense panic gathering like a storm: whispers of fear and frustration, gaining a momentum that just might breach the hull.

There is no going back. Your crew need to see the epic potential of the voyage. New lands of possibility are ahead. New territory to claim. An opportunity to make a difference.

The game is transformation, not just tenure. Sustainability, not just shareholders. Purpose, not just profit. You can lead a revolution – and that power resides in your people. In the face of automation, true resilience lies in human capital: communication, creativity, and collaboration; the ability not simply to compute, but to empathise.

It’s a battle for hearts and minds – and they’re looking to their captain. They need a vision of a world made better because of the part you help them play. 

This is our new normal. And you need a radically new way to lead.

Welcome to the age of Story.

We call it the age of possibility. The age of resilience. The age of engagement. 

Leadership is not just a toolkit. Storytelling is not just a skill. 

Storytelling is fundamental, because the leaders of the new age can articulate, embody and realise a shared story of possibility.

Storytelling is coherent, because it provides the motivation, means and momentum to shift behaviour, take action and navigate complex journeys of change.

Storytelling is smart, because it empowers people, your biggest source of innovation. 

Storytelling is sustainable, because its dynamic structures help us adapt, while anchoring us to the meaning we need to stay afloat. 

Storytelling is human advantage, because it helps your teams align behind a shared mission, enabling the collaboration that fuels real progress.

We are The Storytellers. We move people to do great things through the power and influence of storytelling.

Our approach is simple. Stories are survival, our most primal means of learning, communicating and evolving. Every story takes us on a journey of change, using the universal structures of all cultures. 

To lead is to be the storyteller: to create the conditions for a journey of change. This is no easy task. But there are three simple conditions that need to be met.

By helping us find meaning and purpose in a shared context, stories give us the emotional motivation we need to take action.

By teaching us the lessons we need to navigate change, process complexity and retain information, stories give us the means we need to adapt.

And by defining and amplifying the norms that shape our identity, stories build momentum behind the behaviours we need for a new world.

The Storytellers’ unique approach helps leaders inspire their people to transform and accelerate performance.

Our integrated storytelling programmes are delivered by an interdisciplinary team of experts in narrative and narrative-driven events, virtual events, leadership development, learning solutions and award-winning creative campaigns.

So step aboard. Navigate the thrilling seas of this challenging new world with us.

Join the movement. 

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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