Duration: individual, according to agreement
Managers spend 80 per cent of their time on communication. That’s what researchers from the Harvard Business School found out from numerous interviews. But how much of this communication reaches the audience? All studies on this can be easily summarized: not much!
Why? We have forgotten how to tell good stories. Although we are capable. Because people are born storytellers. The problem is: the corporate world believes that serious communication has to be fact-heavy and hard to digest. The consequence is that media, bloggers and the gossip grapevine gain the authority to interpret the internal and external representation of the company. Because their stories are usually better.
However, when manager shy away from talking too much to the public, they sometimes do this for a reason: Many corporate leaders have made the painful experience: whatever they say and however right their facts might be, their words are turned around by the media and politics – usually because the latter have better stories. Such failed or misleading communication can cost a lot of money, just like misleading advertising or a bad speech form the CEO to the employees as part of a restructuring programme. At the same time, a good story, such as the ‘David and Goliath’ story of Apple, can make a company a lot of money. CEOs must therefore rearm themselves: with good stories!
Examples of story challenges for CEOs: