Storytelling answer to today's business challenges: Book

Storytelling answer to today's business challenges: Book
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New Delhi: Storytelling can be the answer to many of today's business challenges, says a new book by executive coach Jyoti Guptara who provides practical tips to master this business skill.

Published by Pippa Rann Books & Media and distributed by Penguin Random House India, "Business Storytelling From Hype to Hack: Unlock the Software of the Mind" tells how stories can work for different individuals.

"Despite being a professional novelist, I did not appreciate the value of storytelling in business until I was a fellow at a United Nations partner organisation. There, I realised that some of the best content came after and between presentations, informally - when people told stories," Guptara says.

He then applied his experience with fiction to developing and applying strategy, to executive education, and to helping business leaders find their own best stories and tell them more effectively in talks, in pitching ideas, influencing meetings, and steering organisations.

"When you have an important message, you need to communicate it so that it 'clicks' (makes immediate sense) and 'sticks' (is memorable, repeatable, and consistently acted upon). You can hack this communications challenge with stories," the author says.

According to him, storytelling has become a buzzword in business, especially in marketing. There is corresponding scepticism by non-believers as well as disillusionment by people who have either tried and not been satisfied with their own performance, or have tried and not been satisfied with the results.

Guptara says his book is about taking people beyond the hype. "Telling stories is a brain hack. This is your hacker's guide."

He says in business, we tell stories to get results, not to entertain. Even if the intended result is to build a genuine connection.

"Yes, stories hack the brain, but what you're really hacking is what gets in the way of a human connection. Think of it like shedding unnecessary baggage and cutting to the chase," he writes.

Stories, Guptara feels, are not merely for content creators and marketing departments.

"Storytelling in a broader sense - giving clarity, meaning and motivation - is something that is relevant to every department in every industry, at every level. It is mission critical."

He says CEOs don't need to work out all of the organisation's stories, but they do need a working understanding of how stories operate and where they need deploying. They must have the important business skill: narrative competence.

This booklet, he says, is the "hack to understanding your ultimate communications hack".

Readers can explore the power of storytelling for seven key areas of life and business, from becoming a more interesting conversationalist to getting buy-in for an idea.

Guptara argues that storytelling is the quickest, cheapest and deepest way to more influence.

"Mastering storytelling can make you more successful, but perhaps more importantly, it will help you reconnect your life and business with your humanity and make you happier. It will help you hack yourself," he writes.