Storytelling Culture Change is just a 3-step process

We have 2 reasons to celebrate and 1 issue to fix today.

Happy 60th Birthday Steve Jobs (you are still more alive than some who are actually alive) and Happy Maiden Ruckusmaker day.

This morning, the first thing I read was Seth’s Blog on Ruckusmaker Day. The blog ended with these lines.

Commit to articulating your point of view on one relevant issue, one news story, one personal issue. Every day. Online or off, doesn’t matter. Share your taste and your perspective with someone who needs to hear it.

Speak up. Not just tomorrow, but every day.

A worthwhile habit.

As the blog ended, I started writing my own blog on an issue that is most relevant and it concerns the industry I belong to.

The issue is, “Why do Sales Training invariably fail?”

Companies spend $3.4 to $4.6 billion on sales training every year with outsourced sales training providers (I am one of them).

85% to 90% of the sales training has no lasting impact after 120 days.

That is a lot of investment with little to show for it beyond short-term, short-lived gains.

Assuming that the training was fantastic and you can’t fault anything with the trainer, what is the problem? The problem lies in post-training EFFORTS or the lack of them.

Post-training Efforts is where event-based training finishes and application begins. If you don’t reinforce training and do it with enough rigor, even good training is likely to fail.

Learning is an ongoing process and long-term success of a training programme depends on continuous application and reinforcement of what has been taught and learned.

Currently, this is what I do. Since I do a lot of work on Business Storytelling, I named the process of post-training efforts– STORY IT which essentially is HOW, after the programme, you make Business Storytelling a part of your company culture.

STORY IT requires change in organisation culture which is built on many interlocking sets of goals, processes, values and practices. So where do we begin? Start with 3 simple areas that will certainly lift the success beyond 120 days.

1. LEADERSHIP STORY IT to Inspire: For the culture of a company, look at the leader. What are the things the leaders of your company can do to make it part of the company culture? This could be things like:

– Their every communication starts with a Vision Story

– Leaders’ role model storytelling with internal and external clients

2. ENVIRONMENT STORY IT to Inform: What are the tools/platforms we are going to use for embedding storytelling in our daily work. These could be things like:

– Every sales person has a rapport building story as prelude to client communication

– All PowerPoints have inserted story templates

– Have a company story repository where stories are collected and easily accessible

3. ACCOUNTABILITY STORY IT to Institutionalise: This is about giving people a reason to continually incorporate storytelling in their daily work. Reward when done, and correct when not. This could be things like:

– Is being a storyteller a criteria to promote your employees?

– If we are not using the already created story PowerPoints, are we held responsible?

Standing in a corridor and telling a sales training provider, “Most sales training fail” is not the answer. You do something like we do – STORY IT. It’s a shared responsibility of the provider and the organisation to make sales training successful.

It’s time you made a Ruckus too.


1.”Outsourced Sales Training Worldwide: Examining Major Markets” (ES Research Group, 2013)

2. Dave Stien, Sales Training

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