This week’s focus: I am working with several clients that are driving major changes to their customer offer and organisation. Communication is critical: the leadership teams want their people to understand why the changes are necessary and what new goals and behaviours are required.

This communication is about engaging both hearts and minds. And in such cases personal stories trump generic lists everytime. When Sir Stuart Rose became CEO at M&S, for instance, he used a story of a manager developing a new product in a week to highlight his desire for greater speed across the struggling organisation. Pscyhological studies have shown that personal stories like Rose’s generate far greater interest, empathy and emotion in audiences and, as my business coach is always telling me, logic makes people think but emotion prompts them to act.

Where can you start using stories – in your speeches, meetings and individual discussions – to help people engage with, and act on, your ideas and objectives?

Off the record: The Story Of The Blues by Wah!

Here in my pocket I’ve got the story of the blues

Try to believe me

‘Cause it could be front page news

© Stuart Cross 2014. All rights reserved.