Storytelling for change

I spent yesterday at a TIGERoadshow.  It has nothing to  do with the endangered stripy animal though. TIGE stands for Trust and Integrity in the Global Economy ( a link to the website is at the foot of the page).

As is often the case I did not quite know what to expect but someone I trust had sent me the link and I usually work on the basis that if a friend thinks I will be interested then I will.

Throughout the day there were a range of speakers who covered  a variety of angles and aspects of ethics in business – a topic that is rarely out of the headlines. The challenge is for us to understand what can be done to change things and what each of us as an individual can do.

Where I got the best insight and ideas was when one of the speakers told a story to illustrate. Lots of very clever and experienced people have so much to share but sadly – oh so often – they do so with data, statistics and research findings.

Many though have all of that – and then the stories which give more substance to a claim or colour to a finding. The language ( or jargon) is softened by the application to a real situation. The relevance of something huge can be come clear when the listener can run it through their own “lens” of experience.

The theme of telling stories for change emerged as the day went on culminating in a session from Ian Monteague  who is a Director of FARE – a project based in Easterhouse in Glasgow. It is fair to say that Ian tells a good story! He is passionate about the work he does and it shows. When he mentioned that a young man from that project who had stopped his involvement in gangs locally and starting working towards positive change had had his story covered in Time magazine I was reminded of when I spent a morning in Easterhouse with a young man helping work on his speaking skills. He had a persuasive and very important story to tell and he needed some pointers on how he could do that most effectively. It might be the same young man . That does not matter.  What does matter that he was able to tell his story in a way that brought people like me into his world so that we can see what is going on and be inspired to get involved.

Ian was telling stories about the project – stories about other people. My question to him was about how we get to hear those stories told by the individuals involved themselves.

I believe that whether it is someone who has an idea for changing their community or their business the more we hear those ideas first hand the more power they have. That’s why I am working with people to help them understand what they have to say and practice how they want to say it.

If you – or someone you know – has a great story to tell but are having trouble finding their voice please get in touch to explore what we might do together.


TIME article 

Initiatives for Change 


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