What’s in a story? A lot to help understand your company

Organizations are awash with stories. Understanding their usefulness and purpose can serve a human resource practitioner well if done correctly and with a little knowledge.

Organizations are awash with stories. Understanding their usefulness and purpose can serve a human resource practitioner well if done correctly and with a little knowledge.

Stories serve as organizational histories and reinforce organizational culture. Stories can be elicited by structured events but are often present in normal everyday interactions.

In situations as simple as a lunchtime conversation with a fellow employee or banter before a meeting, stories are told – and through that company culture and ideals are reinforced or changed.

Beyond their practical use in organizations, stories serve a human purpose.

They help people process and understand complex situations. Stories can be used to make sense of something, and, throughout history, humans have used stories to pass along culture and knowledge.

What makes up a story? Are they all the same?

What we sometimes call a story is not always a story. Sometimes tales that begin as simple stories solidify into narratives. It is helpful to understand the difference.

Stories are the interpretations of our daily interactions with our environment. Often, they are personal and drawn on first person-accounts and histories of the individual. They can convey real accounts of work in the trenches of the organization.

Stories are unique and ever-changing. They may be told differently each time you tell them, depending on the situation and audience. These stories are powerful, as they adapt to the situation at hand.

Have you ever intended to tell a story, but chose not to at the last minute? Or told a story and wondered why you chose to tell that story? That is part of what is meant when storytellers tell of stories being alive.

LVB Business Events

2019 Health Care Symposium

Thursday, August 01, 2019
2019 Health Care Symposium

2019 CFO of the Year Awards

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
2019 CFO of the Year Awards

HR Symposium

Wednesday, September 25, 2019
HR Symposium

2019 Fastest Growing Companies Awards

Wednesday, October 23, 2019
2019 Fastest Growing Companies Awards