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The use of narrative in business helps us to understand how and why businesses succeed or fail. Storytelling by sharing of actions, views and opinions shapes a business' culture and can be both a power for good, and a power for division and subversion. Bad narrative may exist in the form of divisive gossip around the water cooler, or finger pointing about mistakes and punishments. These subvert our shared responsibility to build trust, inspire others and create a healthy workplace community. A positive narrative can help build success by celebrating and encouraging the right behaviours.
Narrative in this sense has a profound impact on the attitude, behaviour and outlook of each member of a business community and ultimately affects its cohesion and success. It is the responsibility of business leaders to set the right tone from the top. To ensure that storytelling avoids the egotistical narrative that breeds division and poor performance, instead celebrating the shared values and behaviours that engage customers, colleagues and communities in the sustainable success of the business.