Who are the heroes, myths and legends in your business?
If we are to believe the ontology behind discursive psychology, cultures are build through the use of language and story telling. Think about the nursery rhymes you sung as a child, “Ring o Ring a Rosies” about the plague and “Remember Remember” about Guy Fawkes.
Robbie Bargh from The Gorgeous Group advocates the use of #storytelling in your business. “You can tell a story through the menus, the menu tone of voice and messaging through social media are all strong and effective ways of telling a story. Take Ace Hotels, Edition Hotels and 25hours Hotels. All are amazing at telling stories through showing not selling! Grupo Habita is excellent in telling a great story through Mexico no matter where their hotel happens to be. Music is also a great way to tell a story; every story needs a great sound track. The tabletop – stemware, plate-ware, etc – can all help tell a great story. Look at what Dishoom are doing.” Visit his site at www.gorgeousgroup.com
Stories appeal to our emotions and it is those emotions that make the purchase, logic then justifies it. Have you ever brought something just because you loved it?
Our most iconic hotels have some of the best heroes, myths and legends stories. Last night I was lucky enough to spend the evening in the wine cellars of #The Stafford Hotel where their head sommelier regaled us with stories of how the hotel during World War II served as a club for American and Canadian officers stationed overseas who sought refuge in the Wine Cellars. This led to the formation of the Better ‘Ole Club whose membership comprises guests recognized for services to The Stafford London, like HRH the Prince of Wales. There would have been worse places to have been holed up during the air raids, some of which lasted for 5 days, they must have had some incredible parties and hangovers! http://thestaffordlondon.com/history
My favourite fictional London hotel story is that of Jimmy Beaumont who traveled to the UK during prohibition to open the Beaumont Hotel.
An Interview with Hotelier Jimmy Beaumont – The Gourmand: http://thegourmand.co.uk/on-screen/jimmy-beaumont
It is not just hotels that have great stories, whilst working with Goldman Sachs I have been privileged to hear about the extraordinary levels of service the team exhibited during 9/11, the 7/7 bombings and Hurricane Sandy. During Sandy the facilities team worked tirelessly over several days to make sure the building did not flood. They ensured the local Community were able to charge their phones and get food and drink if they needed. Goldmans Sachs kept the “lights on”, leading Lloyd Blankfein to say “We are a downtown firm, our building does have power because of some extraordinary efforts made by our people,” The team maintained the Goldman Sachs reputation of successfully managing risk one sandbag at a time.
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2012/11/goldman-has-the-power.html?mid=twitter-share-di via @intelligencer
Creating a story around your business gives your team something to talk to each other and the guests about. These could be about team member accomplishments, the building, adventures the team have been on. It can also give the team something to be proud of which will then be translated into the quality of their service and how engaged they are in the business, it’s ethos and culture.
What are your stories and who are your heroes, myths and legends?
Why not ask the team in today’s brief or even better run a competition and get the team to build some stories for you.
mjinspire ltd run facilitated sessions to help you build your culture, vision and values. www.mjinspire.com