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Heroes and legends: Use storytelling to instigate cultural change

Storytelling is a powerful tool for engaging, inspiring and motivating staff and partners, says Jill King

17 April 2013

Over the centuries, stories have been told around the world to pass on community wisdom and culture in a memorable way. Storytelling in business is a much more recent phenomenon, but its value in helping to make sense of the past and understand possible futures has been realised by an increasing number of business leaders.

The late Steve Jobs described the competitive battle between Apple and Microsoft as a David and Goliath story to inspire his team. Jack Welch famously used colourful stories to get the message across that things needed to change at GE.

In the legal sector, storytelling as a way of engaging partners and staff, of creating pride in a brand or setting out a compelling case for change, has been slower to develop.

Lawyers pride themselves on a rational approach to understanding. They value facts, data and evidence to convince them of an argument and can be sceptical about a form of communication that relies on emotion or requires a...

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