Secure gold by discovering your storytellers

By 22nd February 2018Blog, Making change happen
Gold medal

Involving informal influencers in shaping and sharing your company’s stories, can be transformational.

With the Winter Olympics drawing to a close it has been a great few weeks for stories. The Canadian figure skating duo, Virtue & Moir, melted hearts, with their ice dance to the ‘Moulin Rouge’ soundtrack. The story of their golden comeback, to become the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history, has been shared worldwide. That’s the power of story.

Fortunately, you don’t need to go as far as The Games in South Korea to secure your own powerfully golden stories. Your precious resource has nothing to do with shiny medals. It has to do with a person. A person called Gold, Bill Gold.

Who is Bill Gold and why is he important?

OK, so in your organisation Bill Gold will go by another name but, trust me, you’ll have multiple Bill Golds in your business. And by identifying and investing in them to become one of your chief storytellers, you can get your corporate or change stories to spread throughout your organisation in authentic and inspirational ways.

As luck would have it, I discovered my Bill Gold and his value, early on in my communications career. If you haven’t yet met yours, let me share this precious nugget with you now.

I was at a conference, when I noticed Bill. I didn’t know him but, as a participant, he was hard to ignore because of the enormous influence he was commanding. When Bill agreed with something presented, he nodded – then everyone around him nodded. When he disagreed, he shook his head – then, following his lead, all those around shook theirs.

Subsequently, I asked a senior leader who the guy was. “Oh, that’s Bill Gold,” she said. “If you want something to happen around here you’d better get Bill on-side.”

The power of informal influencers

Bill wasn’t senior management and had no aspirations to be. But with his vast personal networks, he was influencing colleagues at all levels. What I learned that day was the power of getting him, and those like him, on-side. I’ve been doing just that ever since.

The Bill Golds of our world can be prickly, even cynical, so they are often overlooked as ‘official’ communicators. But involving them in shaping and sharing your company’s stories can be transformational.

By embracing them as storytellers, you transform both the story and the teller. The teller becomes an advocate and their story more authentic when shared.

There’s power in story. There’s power in Gold. And, at Axiom, we help businesses harness and develop both, to organically spread their own powerfully golden stories.