Who knows your story?

In the last post, Anita talked about the importance of storytelling for helping people understand an organization’s mission.  One key question to test the effectiveness of a mission story is simple – who can tell it?

Medtronic is an example of an organization with a powerful mission story. And they want everyone – leaders, employees, and even customers and the public – to be able to tell the story.

medtronic1The company website describes the mission using emotional words that resonate with the positive feeling of helping patients. To reinforce the story, every new employee receives this Medtronic Medallion “as a reminder of the honour and responsibility we have in fulfilling our Mission.” There is even a 200-page book that describes 50 years of its history through the lens of the mission.

Another Medtronic practice is to invite patients to annual meetings to help tell the story. Employees are able to hear directly from people whose lives have been improved by the medical devices they help to manufacture.

Many of us in higher ed are lucky enough to see our mission enacted every day. But as busy leaders we can get disconnected from our students and the big picture of what we are working toward. How can you help all of your stakeholders identify with and tell your organization’s mission story?

Dee Anne Bonebright

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