Quantum Monkeys Blog

Using narrative to ease change

A good story is a powerful thing.

It can move us, persuade us, makes us relate to another’s plight. Good narratives follow a structure that has been passed down from one generation to the next, making the most frightening things clear and somehow reassuring. Even surprise turns of events are expected and accepted.

Change management, on the other hand, is the polar opposite. Information is lacking, communication breaks down, and structure is often lacking or is indiscernible.

Intuitively people perceive the events around them as stories, and change management initiatives are too often partial stories, filled with cracks and uncertainty. The mind being a powerful storytelling tool, it will naturally fill those cracks and, being geared for survival, it will fill them with dreadful things.

Using storytelling as a means to communicate change, make people empathize with it, and fill the blanks with something a bit more positive than dread.

How can you do that?

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By Maurice Lefebvre, ago