Lansons is a full service strategic consultancy, specialising in corporate, media and political communications. They had developed their brand and values and wanted training to focus their people on the finding their feet with what this meant and how they could share and embody the brand with existing and future clients. We offered a workshop where individuals could find their Lansons story. Responding to the new brand participants would create a story that would be unique to them, authentic, engaging and memorable and explain what makes Lansons better and different. The workshops would focus on creating stories that would inform conversation with clients at an upcoming event however the techniques and the stories created could be reapplied and adapted as needed.
Over 6 half-day workshops we worked with all 150 staff, from the founders to reception. The training gave them the skills and confidence to tell the company’s story to a variety of audiences, within a variety of contexts. Responding to the new brand participants used our storytelling techniques to create their own interpretation; incorporating examples and experiences from their own work. Over the process of the workshop they explored together what makes Lansons better and different and how to make that relevant to themselves, their specific audience and their desired outcomes.
Before finally launching the new brand the workshops helped Lansons to finalise the details, by listening to how their staff shared it as stories about how it exists in the their own and their clients’ experiences. The participants were able to better understand and digest the meaning and intentions of the new branding and see it justified in terms of their own work, their colleagues and of the business as a whole. The techniques of the workshop encouraged the participants to use language and descriptions (of the key wording of the branding) that were defined and articulated with real and considered meaning. The techniques also challenged the participants to think about their tone of voice, to discover new insights from well used case studies and overall gave everyone a new pallet from which to enhance their communication and interaction.
“The storytelling sessions really helped people tell a ‘corporate’ story in a very individual, personal way – and helped them to bring it alive in a way that resonated with them personally. The sessions were very much enjoyed by all who attended.”
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Ernst & Young appreciate the benefits of being a values based company for their clients and employees. As part of the global re-launching of their values, they required a drop-in activity to engage their staff with the values. This would take place in the foyer of their London HQ.
TheWholeStory were asked to facilitate the staff’s involvement in ‘Frame of Mind’, a wall on which to write or draw responses to the values. We encouraged passers-by to engage with the values, by reading what others had written and in turn inspiring colleagues with their own stories. We helped them to make a personal connection to the values and to turn their experiences into a story to be written on the wall.
The completed wall drew much attention and discussion from staff. With our prompting many reflected on their own response to the values, how they embody them, as well as why they chose to work at Ernst & Young. While offering an opportunity for feedback the wall proved an invaluable barometer for gauging the staff’s understanding of the values and how well they had been communicated. Placing the wall prominently in the foyer made it a talking point for visiting clients. This made them aware of Ernst & Young’s positive, pro-active role in creating a differentiated client and employee experience.
The Trust wanted to change its tone of voice in communications. The public often assumed that it was part of the police, too rarely realising that it is an independent charity that guarantees your anonymity when they share the details of a crime with the police. We suggested a workshop for a cross section of staff, to create stories that could be used both internally and externally, which would give a breadth of experiences and perspectives on what Crimestoppers does.
Staff took part in a full day collaborative storytelling workshop, by collectively creating stories about Crimestoppers in small groups. Whilst respecting the much prized anonymity of callers, the stories were created that incorporated the authentic emotional impact of both being aware of criminal activity and of doing something about. These stories helped promote the safe sharing of information with Crimestoppers, reassuring listeners by including descriptions of what takes place over a call.
A selection of excellent stories were created, many of which have since been recorded and shared across social media. These have been very well received, prompting Crimestoppers to run a second workshop and plan half a dozen more next year. By having a series of powerful stories created, staff will now be able to choose and share the one that best suits the potential donor, volunteers, new recruit or member of the public that will get the best results.
“I have to be honest: I was a skeptic. But I was so wrong. It’s hard to overestimate the impact that Josh and ‘the whole story’ had with my charity. He inspires, enthuses and motivates in a very charismatic and approachable manner. He really gets people to believe and up their game. Within days, we were improving our copy and far better, connecting with our partners and supporters. It wasn’t just the communications team either; the approach benefited all. In short, a transformative experience: highly recommended.”
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