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The Power of Organizational Storytelling Terry Weisz Bauder Vice President, Internal Communications Marriott International, Inc.

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Presentation on theme: "The Power of Organizational Storytelling Terry Weisz Bauder Vice President, Internal Communications Marriott International, Inc."— Presentation transcript:


2 The Power of Organizational Storytelling Terry Weisz Bauder Vice President, Internal Communications Marriott International, Inc.

3 Objectives Engage Employees Through the Power of Storytelling Create Community Through Shared Knowledge and Experience Discover Your Organizations Voice




7 Why Is Storytelling So Important?

8 Is a timeless art Lives at the core of every culture Defines and perpetuates values Provides direction, inspiration and meaning Celebrates differences Unites through shared experience Storytelling…

9 Listeners… Tend to forget from one-third to one-half of new learnings within 8 hours Only remember on average 25% of what was said 2 months later Are bombarded with information Inner dialogue impacts reception Ralph Nichols & Leonard Stevens, Harvard Business Review on Effective Communication

10 Listening for Ideas vs. Facts Ideas are memorable Stories trigger ideas, which create mental images, evoking a more sensory experience Leverage stories to engage with inner dialogue

11 The Power of Organizational Storytelling

12 Creates context for past, present and future –Heritage, culture and core values –Shared knowledge and understanding –Inspire visionary thinking Helps bridge language, literacy and cultural boundaries Builds commitment and brand ambassadors Expands perception beyond bricks and mortar Organizational Storytelling

13 Triumph over adversity Generosity, kindness, doing the right thing Hard work well-rewarded Ingenuity and innovation Devotion, loyalty Lessons learned What Makes a Good Story: Universal Themes

14 …encourage taking calculated RISKS

15 A few years ago, Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Tommy Lasorda walked into an Atlanta hotel lobby and was greeted by a man in full Dodgers uniform… Smitty Smith Atlanta, Georgia Celebrity Treatment

16 … … make an EMOTIONAL connection

17 Loan Co San Francisco, California Dont Look Back… Ill never forget saying those words to my sister. The year was 1980 and we were scrambling into a rowboat at the edge of our village… in Vietnam. We were anxious to begin a new life … but I knew that if either of us looked back, we would lose our courage.

18 When associates are passionate about the companys mission, they invest personal effort to ensure its success Employment experience has a direct impact on customer experience Marriott Workforce Effectiveness analysis of hotel performance validates that engagement is positively correlated with: –Financial performance –Guest satisfaction –Intent to return –Associate productivity measures Driving Engagement

19 Example : General Manager Chat Sessions with all associates Focused on topics such as managing personal finances and understanding benefits Used stories to personalize the experience Enrollments in Marriotts Retirement Savings Plan up nearly 14% (about 12,000 associates) Storytelling: Engaging Hearts and Minds

20 Designing a Strategic Storytelling Platform

21 Strategy Take an integrated approach Identify desired audiences, outcomes and opportunities Align with and promote key messages and core values Define success criteria Volume of submissions Number of placements Frequency of story use

22 Formal channels (e.g., web sites, blogs, voice mail boxes, submission forms, templates, etc. Informal channels (e.g., grapevine) Stories journal or notecards Interviews / living history Story champions, committees Customer letters and testimonials Employee recognition programs Establish measurable goals and rewards Sourcing Stories

23 The Ritz-Carlton Wow Stories Program

24 When the guest arrived at the hotel, all he had was his old address scribbled on a piece of paper…

25 Engage story champions Leverage new and existing channels –Key forums (e.g., speeches, training, celebrations) –Newsletters –Stand-up meetings –Promotional materials, stories book –Web sites, blogs Promote with customers, media, analysts, shareholders and other external audiences Promoting Stories

26 Leveraging New Media

27 Marriott on the Move Blog Launched January 2007 250,000 unique visitors ~25% of visitors outside U.S. Traffic growing ~10% per month Correlation between visiting site and reservations ~50% internal audience

28 Extends storytelling to external audiences Generates interest among associates to participate in storytelling Our Stories Web Site

29 Our Stories Site Paths and Process Newsroom Corporate Info

30 Annual Report

31 Weekly video newscast delivered Highly visual communication tool with top news stories from around the globe 70,000+ Viewers Marriott Minute

32 Employees are new to the company The organization is undergoing change or transformation Milestones or success to celebrate In times of crisis Optimize Storytelling When…

33 You always wonder how you would do in battle, says Nancy Castillo. … On September 11, I learned that instinct is what carries you through a crisis.

34 Storytelling is powerful –Builds emotional engagement –Perpetuates culture and values –Conveys universal themes –Can span language, literacy and cultural boundaries –Creates shared vision and competitive advantage Cultivate a storytelling culture –Actively seek new stories –Reward and incent storytelling –Leverage variety of channels/media Summary

35 … All theyll remember are the stories.

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