“Many of the biggest blockbuster movies use the format of the hero’s journey, which is a storyline that crosses all cultural boundaries.
Stories in Our Lives
Narratives are the stories that most people get hooked into. They are the journey of the hero.
Many of the biggest blockbuster movies use the format of the hero’s journey, which is a storyline that crosses all cultural boundaries.
It is the story of the hero, who knows there’s more out there than this ordinary life. They live their regular life until a mentor or incident comes along to force them into a new world and life. The hero refuses at first, but then cannot help but be propelled into their role as the person who will save the day.
Soon, they take a journey where they meet helpers and enemies. They go through many trials to prove themselves and outwit multiple opponents. They always have that special “something.” That something leads them to triumph.
The Narrative in Business
In an organization, there are competing narratives. First, there is the narrative of the company itself, this is how the company markets its vision. Secondly, there are the narratives of the employees who are happy and love the company. Third, the narratives of the negative and unhappy employees are weaved into the fold. Maybe other narratives are floating around in the form of gossip or idolization of certain individuals.
The narratives that you see above help people rationalize their behaviors within the organizational system. Each person is seeing themselves as the hero in their own story and their narrative will center on themselves.
Narratives are so powerful that they are what we base most of our choices on. They center our identities. They are our agreements with ourselves and we must behave accordingly.
Identify the Dominant Narrative
The best way to understand your organization is to listen to employees. Interview them and find patterns in their stories. You will soon be able to find a dominant narrative in your organization.
Then it is up to you as to how you want the story to continue. If you detect damage and strive in this narrative you can use restorative practices to repair the damage and get the story back on track.
“Narratives are so powerful that they are what we base most of our choices on. They center our identities.