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Story Driven


 “What do you stand for?”

“Where are you headed and why?”

“What’s been the making of you?”

“What will make your career or company great?”

Bernadette Jiwa asks these questions in her book, Story Driven. Although Ms. Jiwa doesn’t use the phrase “business owner’s why”, Story Driven is summarized by asking why and so much more.

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We begin with two different types of companies:

Competition-Driven – Its goal is to win. They want to crush competition, dominate the market, and maximize shareholder value. By nature, it’s reactive.

Story-Driven - Its goal is to make a difference. They are propelled by a sense of purpose it strives to make a positive impact on customers. By nature, it’s responsive.

Bernadette’s book is about the story-driven company. The story-driven company’s people share the same narrative, identity, purpose, and values. The sum of what they share works to build a strong and cohesive culture.

“Great companies have something in common: they don’t try to matter by winning. They win by mattering.”     —Bernadette Jiwa


The Story-Driven Framework

Bernadette creates a clear and concise process to uncover the business why, align company beliefs, paint a vision for the future, and create a plan for how to get there. It’s called the Story-Driven Framework and it follows a logical order.

Backstory: Journey to now. As an owner, what are the factors and ingredients that contribute to the journey of getting you to here and now? If you are running an existing company, why did the founders create the business? What factors have contributed to its evolution?

Values: Your guiding beliefs. As you list your values, start with the word “I” or “we” followed by a verb and then the value. For example, “We pursue curiosity.”

Purpose: Your reason to exist. Why does your company exist?

Vision: Your aspirations for the future. Where will your company be in the future?

Strategy: The alignment of opportunities, plans, and behavior. What is your plan to change from the present and get to your future?

Through the use of stories, Bernadette illustrates each of the framework’s components. They are memorable and relatable lessons.


Case Stories

Ranging from global to local, Bernadette provides 15 different examples of story-driven companies. She identifies each company’s journey to now, their guiding beliefs, their reason to exist, their aspirations for the future, and their alignment of opportunities, plans, and behaviors.


Developing Your Story-Driven Strategy

The book’s final section is a thought provoking exercise to elicit your company’s backstory, values, purpose, vision, and strategy.


Where You’ve Been

The business press has devoted considerable air waves to processing failures. What mistakes have you made and what have you learned from them? What hasn’t been mentioned is how we learn from all of our experiences.

“...reflect on the significance of our stories, remind ourselves of our resourcefulness, and reinforce our sense of identity.”   —Bernadette Jiwa


Become Wise to Ourselves

Looking back on the road traveled so far, we didn’t receive much instruction on how to figure out what we stood for and how we came to that decision. While learning to make good choices, no one helped us to understand why we felt they were the right ones. We told people what they wanted to hear while clamping down on what we wanted to say.

Becoming wise to ourselves means we’ve gathered an understanding of what matters most to us and who we might become. In turn, we’re able to move forward and help others.


Great Companies

“A great company doesn’t just thrive because it’s profitable’ it’s profitable because it helps people to thrive. Great companies leave the world better than they found it - which is why those of us responsible for creating and building businesses must be as clear about the way to get to our destination as we are about what that destination is.”  —Bernadette Jiwa


“The purpose of my company is to make money!”

Story-Driven, or the pursuit of why, is for all company owners. But if you’re looking to build a cohesive unit that’s determined to change the world while supporting each other’s will to grow, then Bernadette Jiwa’s Story Driven is an excellent read!


Final Thought

If you’re trying to decide whether or not to work for a company, you should find out if they are story-driven or motivated by the owner’s why. Why should you do this? Knowing this, you’re more likely to find meaning and fulfillment in your work. Secondly, the organization will be better equipped to weather the storms of turbulence.


Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These group of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area!

Topics: Business Growth, Marketing, Branding, business culture, Building a Business, Business Leadership, Management, Leadership, Plumbing, hvac, learning, knowledge, team building, creative marketing, Customer Service

Posted by Dave Rothacker on May 12, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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