The Three Billy Goats Gruff is a fairy tale. So is Rumpelstiltskin. When you’re trying to evoke positive change, it is best to start with real world stories.
Most change starts with a story. A story about the past, a story about hardship, adversity, or overwhelming success. The most powerful stories often contain all three.
Rocky Balboa is a story. So is The Pursuit of Happiness (2006). Many consider both to be motivational, heart touching, and potentially life changing.
Are they true? Perhaps not completely, yet they are founded in real-life, believable scenarios.
People are called to action, or they are not, based on the story.
Stories and Change
Change fails. Sometimes despite all the energy thrown at it, it fails.
People remember failed change. In many cases they avoided it, fought it, and refused to cooperate with it so strongly that eventually, it failed.
Humans tend to follow patterns. When something works, they stick with it.
Makes sense, right?
In matters of change, resistance is sometimes a learned behavior. Fight what scares you, fight what you don’t like or understand, and fight long enough, you’ll win. It becomes a pattern.
The fight against it probably starts with a story. The wrong kind of story. An unbelievable story or one that absolutely presents itself as a fairy tale.
A fairy tale might be fun. An escape from reality, the Sci-Fi movie, or a murder mystery. Drama stories might capture your heart, cause a tear, and have a happy ending.
Most are based more on fiction rather than fact. The change they may spark is imaginary. It’s not real world.
Real World Stories
Workplace or organizational change isn’t launched with fairy tales. They aren’t about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, or Jack and the Beanstalk.
If you’re going to successfully launch a change, start with real world stories. They are believable and that is what makes them successful.
People want transparency and they want authenticity. They are attracted to those stories because they are real. They’re believable.
Belief is one of the most powerful engines in our psyche.
Is your change believable?
Belief starts with a good story.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.