Storytelling is vital to the growth and development of any culture or community. The pace of life, and the increasing busyness of the modern organization make storytelling an almost obsolete element of leadership practices. As the multigenerational workforce becomes younger with the entrance Generation Y, storytelling as a connection point becomes more and more valuable (Elmore, 2010). As organizations try to adopt a more familial approach to the community it builds, it is important to understand a sense of individual and group identity, multigenerational connections, and behavioral guidelines can all be communicated through storytelling (Thorson, 2013, p.88). So, how do modern organizations incorporate storytelling once again into the busy environment that exists in the workplace?
Leaders buy time through delegation of responsibilities and decision-making. Leaders can easily be bogged down with tasks and decisions that can be handled by others, while neglecting those things only the leader can do, such as storytelling and vision casting. Leaders must embrace delegation as a building block of a flourishing organization (Kane, 2006, p. 190). Through delegation, leaders are allowed the time necessary to craft and deliver stories that build morale, communicate vision, create identity, and connect the individuals together.
There are many mediums through which a leader can share a story. One of the newer, more creative ways is to use photos. With the rising number of photos individuals are taking, it is a medium that is very familiar and sometimes preferred by many. Telling a story with photos has become easy with a low time commitment due to the many different photo apps and services available (Kessler, 2014) such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapshat, Twitter, and many others.
Storytelling is a lost art in leadership that should be reclaimed. Leaders must find time to convey the story of their organizations and the people whom they lead.
Elmore, T. (2010). Generation IY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future. Poet Gardener Publishing.
Kane-Urrabazo, C. (2006). Management’s role in shaping organizational culture. Journal of Nursing Management, 14(3), 188–194. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2934.2006.00590.x
Kessler, S. (2014). The Photo Economy. Fast Company, (190), 54–60.
Thorson, A. R., Rittenour, C. E., Kellas, J. K., & Trees, A. R. (2013). Quality Interactions and Family Storytelling. Communication Reports, 26(2), 88–100.