Although the book StoryDoing voor organisaties is only available in Dutch, we also give keynotes, workshops and advice in English. Therefore we’ll give you a short summary of the essence of the book and the model on this page. At the right of this text (or below on mobile devices), you’ll find the model with the English terminology.
A vigorous organization knows its right to exist and the value it provides to people and society. Such an organizations proves this value by showing it in all aspects of doing business. Therefore the best way of expressing the essence of an organization is by doing things, by taking action. That’s what we call: StoryDoing. StoryDoing starts where StoryTelling ends.
The model is centered around the Origin Story: a powerful and inspiring narrative that contains the heart of what the organization stands for. Its past, present and future come together in this story, as well as its roots, strengths, ambitions and challenges. Everyone involved with the organization should know this Origin Story, be able to tell it and be able to act on it! It provides vision, focus and direction and is an important instrument to define, implement and monitor the organizations strategy. The Origin Story pops up in all 4 phases of the model:
You are your story.
The StoryBeing phase starts with good news: the Origin Story of your organization already exists! Sometimes you are aware of it, sometimes it hovers in the background, and sometimes you have drifted away from it. But it’s always there and you just have to (re)discover it. We call that StoryBeing: You already have, or even are a story. In the StoryBeing phase we ask all sorts of questions to find the ten building blocks for your Origin Story.
You tell your story.
Of course you want to tell and proclaim your Origin Story. Both inside the organization (to give focus and direction to the employees) and outside to costumers, partners and perhaps the rest of the world. In de StoryTelling phase you translate the building blocks and other ideas about your organization, that you discovered in the StoryBeing phase, into a narrative and inspiring Origin Story.
You do your story.
Just StoryTelling doesn’t do the whole job. In the StoryDoing phase we translate the Origin Story to actions and challenges. That’s where you’re going to make the real difference as an organization. We adress the fields of Identity, Culture and Propositions, but also extract additional choices about development and change from the Origin Story. We also challenge you to look for epic, Iconic actions to take and work towards a concrete Action Map.
You value your story.
In this phase you examine the value you have created during the StoryDoing process (looking back) or still want to create (looking forward). So it can be a moment of reflection, or rather give direction to the continuation of the process. Here we examine the fields of Manifestation, Continuity, Growth and Purpose of your organization. Also you can search for a businessmodel that matches your Origin Story.
Organizational and entrepreneurial skills
Going through the StoryDoing process a sharp and unique Identity leads to Distinctive Qualities (and powers!) for an organization. To be distictive and remarkable you have to make sharp choices. Choices that fit you and choices that make visible who you truly are as an organization. You want to express yourself authentically and you don’t want to be just another face in the corporate crowd. You want your unique propositions or unique style or both to be appealing to your costumers, partners, (new) employees and all your other target groups.
Going through the StoryDoing process a healthy Culture leads to an Entrepreneurial Attitude. And the other way around: an Enterpreneurial Attitude will shape a healthy Culture. You want all employees to actively contribute to the Challenge, Significance and succes of the organization. Everyone adds something to the continuity and eventually growth of the organization. And everybody is partly responsable and can do his share for promotion, hospitality, quality or sales.
Going through the StoryDoing process straight Propositions lead to Authenticity. This is achieved with products and services that match who you say you are. And with employees who understand the Origin Story and realize that every decision and every action in an organization has impact on improving or reducing the authenticity and credibility. You want to have a good reputation, not by telling you are authentic, but by showing and therefore doing it. It’s the most sustainable way of Growth.
Going through the StoryDoing process an inspiring Challenge and powerful Iconic actions lead to Significance. Find the right to exist of your organization and act on it. Be aware of the impact you have on your Participants, your neighborhood, your city, your industry or the world. Show the Purpose you want to have and the difference you want to make. More and more conscious costumers expect this from organizations. Within the evolving purpose economy you don’t just look for a niche in the market, you also look for a niche in society.
Manfred van Doorn — Chief Executive of Double Healix
StoryDoing translates words into actions. From telling a story to doing and living it! In their book StoryDoing, Bogers and Van Gils have managed to translate the complex subject of organizational storytelling into concrete actions that transform an organization from a holistic and dynamic perspective.