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Forget Storytelling. CEOs Must Learn Better Crisis Communication

Published by Tony Jaques for Managing Outcomes

When responding to a crisis or a major issue, CEOs need to speak clearly, with authority and empathy.

What then to make of the latest advice from consultants McKinsey, whose expert on “go-to-market and omnichannel strategy, agile sales and marketing transformation” proposes that Chief Executives should be their companies’ Chief Storytellers.

She advises that having a great story “creates a virtuous circle” which “accelerates and pressure-tests ideas”, and “creates a flywheel to fuel employees to drive value for the company”. And that CEOs are “positioned uniquely to make communications a team sport”.

However, as my colleague Craig Badings of SenateSHJ comments, while CEOs undoubtedly need to be the ones to lead and tell their story internally and externally, they first need to listen and sense check the perceptions and expectations of internal and external stakeholders before attempting to craft a narrative.

He says the second critical factor is the need to match what they say with that they do. Otherwise trust erodes and people stop listening to the narrative because they know the words don’t match the actions.

And, as Rob Masters reminded me, the National Storytelling Network says the role of the CEO is to promote the organisation’s vision and strategy for the future. Not his or her strategy and vision, but that of the company.

For more, click here.

Photo by <a href=”″>Stockcake</a>

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