Storytelling Questions that Rarely Gets Asked

I am working with fairly senior people of an organisations and we are writing a change story.

Some questions I ask and the responses I get are given below

Why are you adopting automation?
We have a lot more work and it is not possible to do it manually.

Why are you making your factory smart?
That is the only way to sustain our presence.

Why are you hot desking?
The management made the policy to save space.

Why are you introducing a new process?
The old process is redundant.

Now, none of these responses have the story angle that we need to build a compelling narrative.

Let us ask more questions around these responses 

We have a lot more work and it is not possible to do it manually – So, how have you managed to do it for years and why is this suddenly an issue?

That is the only way to sustain our presence. – I mean you have sustained your presence for so long, how was that possible ?

The management made the policy to save space.- Why is this important to the management ?

The old process is redundant. – Why did it become redundant?

Almost always, I see organisations ridicule the old way of doing things.

My response to such responses is always this, “I am certain that management teams before you were not incompetent.”

My suggestion then is to  look further, look broader, what changed in your world and here are some of the questions I ask that leads to better response

Were there any Macroeconomic shifts like, interest rates, inflation ?

Was there a change in competitive dynamics , as new competitor came in, old competitor modified their strategies? 

Was there a management change in terms of personnel or tactics? 

How did digital impact this change?

I feel its hubris in storytelling to assume that story you tell will remain immune from real world.

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