STORYTELLING AND KEY MANAGEMENT MESSAGES IN A SOUTH AFRICAN CONSULTING FIRM
The art of storytelling is an age-old phenomenon used in many situations and settings to convey allegoric and metaphoric messages to a myriad of audiences in various forms and genres (Parkinson, 2001). Understanding the intricacies of this art form more deeply assists the storyteller in identifying the preferred mode of delivery, content to the storyline and potential audience receptiveness. The challenge for any organisation is its ability to harness the power and value of effective communication with its staff in a way that ensures optimum organisational effectiveness (Gardner, 1999). This study adopted an action research model to explore the use of storytelling within a South African consulting firm that normally utilises more conventional and formalised communication methods. The research sets out to explore the effectiveness of the use of storytelling in such a formally structured environment and whether the use of an allegoric and metaphoric story in fact heightens awareness within the target audience. The findings show that even in the typical and formal environments of high powered consulting, there is room for storytelling as an alternate method to formal communication. It not only confirms the effectiveness of storytelling in creating awareness within the audience, but also proves that it facilitates the articulation of the original message intended by the storyteller. The research conducted in the action learning intervention indicates storytelling to be the chosen form of communication by both the staff and management team on the unit. The implications of the positive response obtained during the study will require that management become more accustomed and trained in the use of storytelling in their approach to communication. Different scenarios require different approaches and there is no wrong and no right way of approaching these.
MBA thesis - WBS
Storytelling, Story telling, Consultants