Insight article

You mean I get to tell stories for a living…?!

I turned up to work today with dripping wet hair and smelling faintly of goose poo. Evidence I believe of how comfortable I have come to feel amongst my colleagues at The Storytellers. I should explain my morning state came courtesy of a dip in the Serpentine in Hyde Park – something I have done regularly for the past two years but it never ceases to raise eyebrows when meeting new people.

A month ago I walked into 5 Cromwell Place to take up a role as a Planning Consultant at The Storytellers. I’d just spent two and a half weeks trekking in Kyrgyzstan, periodically finding myself waist deep in snow and eating various forms of offal proudly presented as gourmet feasts by local shepherds, stories about which I shared with my friends and family back home via a blog. It seems appropriate therefore that, since I now work for a company which spends its time encouraging large organisations to tell stories, I should take this opportunity to continue my blogging, using it to document life as a new Storyteller.

My first month has gone by in a bit of a blur as I’ve been immersed in the world of corporate storytelling and its role in behavioural change. Earlier this week a group of us who are all new starters had a workshop day where we explored how we would describe in our own words what The Storytellers does and role-played interactions with clients. I quickly realised that what I thought I had clear in my head was actually quite difficult to articulate. I think this is going to be one of my big challenges; finding my own “Storytellers” voice that can clearly and concisely describe The Storytellers offering in order that clients can understand what we are about.

In a way it is a similar challenge to that which our clients face when trying to clearly convey, often complex, strategies to employees throughout their organisations. As we work with our clients to create a succinct and compelling strategic narrative, in the same way I am gradually discovering my own narrative about The Storytellers. At the moment it feels a bit like I am at the bottom of one of the mountain ranges I faced when trekking in Kyrgyzstan but like I did then I feel the best way to make progress is to prepare as best I can but then simply dig in my toes and start to climb. If I can reach a point where I feel half as comfortable with clients as I already do with my colleagues then I’ll know I’m making progress (although I think I’ll refrain from subjecting clients to my morning goose poo odour wherever possible).

Nailia Tasseel