ADVANCE: Take Your Next Step with Mike Acker

Ep 9 | Business Storytelling is Dead; Build a Strategic Narrative Instead Advance With Guiallaume Wiatr [ Season 2 ]

April 11, 2022 Mike Acker
ADVANCE: Take Your Next Step with Mike Acker
Ep 9 | Business Storytelling is Dead; Build a Strategic Narrative Instead Advance With Guiallaume Wiatr [ Season 2 ]
Show Notes

Storytelling has, for the longest time, remained a fundamental component of business and culture. But in the last few years, it has undergone a transition to strategic narratives, as our guest Guiallaume Wiatr reveals today. What explains this change?

Join in this episode to know as Guiallaume Wiatr talks about it in great detail. Comparing business storytelling with strategic narratives, Guiallaume explains how companies are growing beyond the former way so that it doesn't only engage customers but can assign them a role to help them connect with you better.

Listen in to learn the differences, benefits, and importance of strategic narratives!


Why does Guiallaume believe business storytelling is dead, and why does he encourage building a strategic narrative instead?


The storytelling approach is great for companies selling a product already self-positioned. It assumes you know how people perceive you outside. But things are different when you are in uncharted territory – that's when it gets complicated. Your company could have many stories – customer stories, your personal story as a leader, your team stories, and what you do out there in the community can be a big network of stories. The difficulty is making sense of that system of stories: what’s the common denominator? That’s when you build a system of stories. And that’s what is meant by a strategic narrative.

What are the key differences between telling a story and then building a narrative?

A story aims at engagement. It wants to connect with people and draw them in. But if you look around, most companies do not just create stories and engage audiences, but rather as participants – they will find them a role. And they will bring them into what they're trying to achieve. 

Why are strategic narratives so vital during this juncture in the business world?

Firstly, the way our society works has evolved quite a bit. People don't want just to be passive consumers of brands who throw a product at them. Secondly, people today pay for a story, for a narrative. They want to be associated with brands that serve a strong narrative. 

How do you make sure your narrative sticks? 

By constantly making the connection between the narrative and how it shows up, how you activate it and have scrutiny over how you talk. 


“Many people will just throw stories out there without really realizing what kind of impact they have. So my approach is different. My approach is for a very specific context, I am not against storytelling – I think it's the greatest thing that humankind has created. What I am in favor of is being smarter about it. And that's why I say business storytelling 1.0, in the way we've traditionally used it, is kind of dead... And we have to realize that what we need is better alignment.

“Another difference between the story and narrative (is that) the story has happened already. It's past, it has occurred. And the narrative is still way more future-oriented.”