A company narrative is a simple story expressing who your organisation – or team – is and what it aims to achieve.
A narrative exists to provide a clear and consistent portrayal of your team to both internal and external audiences, helping them get to know you, grow to trust you and determine whether they want to form a connection with you.
Why do you need a narrative?
Having a company narrative is especially important as your team or organisation grows in size and engages with more people.
In the absence of a single narrative, every member of your team or organisation will tell a slightly different story about who you are, painting an inconsistent image in the minds of employees and other key stakeholders. This can make you appear disjointed, disorganised and disingenuous, resulting in confusion, uncertainty and doubt.
Your narrative can be used to provide clarity around who you are and what you stand for, helping to attract, engage and retain the right people to your team.
What does a company narrative include?
There are a few core elements to your company narrative.
Firstly, who you are as a team or organisation – your identity. This includes:
- Your purpose – why you exist
- Your mission – what you do
- Your culture – the values and principles you uphold and the behaviours you cultivate; and
- Your brand – how you are different to others, your unique value proposition, the things that set you apart.
Secondly, what your team or organisation aims to achieve – the direction you’re heading. This refers to:
- Your vision – your desired future state, a destination you want to reach
- Your goals – the objectives, targets or milestones you want to accomplish en route; and
- Your strategy – your plan to succeed.
How can a company narrative be used?
Once developed, your company narrative should be used, either in full or in part, whenever anyone is communicating information relating to your team or organisation and the work you do. In particular, use your company narrative to:
- Connect employees to the big picture, explaining how their individual roles contribute to the overall success of your team
- Provide context and rationale to explain business decisions, especially any organisational change or business transformation; and
- Educate others about the value your team or organisation provides and the difference you can make.
If you want existing and potential employees, colleagues, customers and other key stakeholders to get to know, understand, trust and connect with your team or organisation, invest the time in developing a clear and consistent company narrative.