Whose story is it?

Each winter holiday season my daughter and I go to a show put on by Kevin Kling, titled Tales of the Charred Underbelly of the Yule Log. Kevin is an amazing story-teller and as I sit in the Guthrie Theatre listening to him I can see myself in his stories. In fact I am ready to take action and wrap the presents or set the holiday table (or pretend to be asleep until Santa comes!)


Kevin’s magic is that he makes the story feel like my story. It makes sense to me and I am drawn in. We need to do the same thing with our vision stories. Anita has provided great resources on how to craft a story. The next step for leading change is to communicate the vision story and draw people in, make it their story.

At the theatre everyone wants to be drawn in but at work your people are drawn in many directions and facing multiple priorities. Vision stories need to be broken apart and communicated differently to each group based on what is most compelling to them. This requires a framework for communicating the future state vision. The  Message Framework Tool by Dan Olson can help you clearly identify what key aspects of your vision will be most compelling for each of your stakeholder groups. The overall vision stays the same but how you communicate it will be different for each group.

I can’t guarantee your vision will pack the house at the Guthrie but customizing your message for your stakeholders will help them see themselves in the future and become a part of the change, not a bystander.

Todd Thorsgaard


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