Andy Ruskin likes to cite two presentations – one, the Zuora deck and two, the Elon Musk presentation introducing the Tesla batteries as his example of great business stories told by companies. There is no denying that story telling or a compelling narrative with its build up , a la Freytag’s Pyramid [- Exposition – (The Set Up ) Rising Action ( complications, development ) Climax ( peak tension and turning point ) Falling action ( Resolutions, revelations) and finally denouement (final resolution )] needs to be designed. Or perhaps The Hero’s Journey. What ever the structure, there is no denying of the fact that your organisations story narrative is the key to your ability to communicate and execute on your vision. Andy Ruskin’s presentation The 5 elements of a Great Strategic Narrative has s Prezi version by Igor Lacerdino.
It starts with two quotes from Ben Hrorwoitz and Bill Gurley.
Companies that don’t have a clearly articulated story don’t have a clear and well thought-out strategy. The company story is the company strategy.BEN HOROWITZ, Partner, Andreessen Horowitz
The great storytellers have an unfair competitive advantage. They are going to recruit better, they will be darlings in the press, they are going to raise money more easily and at higher prices…and they are going to have a strong and cohesive corporate culture. Perhaps more to the point, they are more likely to deliver a positive investment return.BILL GURLEY, Partner, Benchmark
So what are these 5 elements?
- Name the undeniable, relevant change in their world
- Show what’s at stake for them ( Winning and loosing ) – Whats at stake – promised land (point of no return)
- Tease their promised land ( What if?)
- Summon the monsters ( How will you…?)
- Slay the monsters
As you ready your startup for an unveiling for the world, a fund raise or even communicating of the value proposition to your prospective customers – take a hard look at your deck. Is there a story there or are you going with a bunch of numbers?