When I explain to people that I help businesses to create stories that will enable them to be more effective, efficient and sustainable I’m occasionally asked what I mean by ‘stories’.

If I take the book I was reading earlier in the summer, the crux of which was that a person had been framed for a murder they didn’t commit. This is an exciting peice of information, it tells me something but not the whole story – it was essentially was the middle of the story.

Unfortunately businesses often only communicate the middle of their story – the chunky, crunchy, big message: “We’re changing” “We’re restructuring” “We’re launching a new product” “We’re entering a new market” But it’s not the whole story.

In the book I was reading there’s a beginning which explains how the person was framed and why. There’s also an end which resolves the situation.

In 2020 the people of the UK spent £688m on fictional books – that’s somewhere between 95 and 100 million books sold. People like stories. We like to read them, hear them and tell them.

When structuring the message you want to convey think beginning, middle and end or past, present future or external world, company response, individual response.

Tell a story and you get greater levels of engagement. The more engaged people are the more they are likely to act in the way that you want them to.