who we help
We’ve been lucky enough to work with some fantastic clients across a number of different industry sectors. Working with individuals as well as teams from 6 to 600. We’ve helped organisations define their story through workshops, developed skills in the crafting and sharing of stories, consulted on the creation of story-based engagement and brand programmes, and created story materials that improve communication with customers and colleagues.
Main character: Creative design agency, forpeople
The plot: Design and delivery of a pitching and presenting programme that puts story and storytelling at the heart of communications.
Beginning: As is often the case we started small with forpeople. In 2016 we did a series of 121 coaching assignments with senior team and creative individuals. Seeing the immediate benefit of bringing story techniques to their presentations, forpeople asked us to build and run a programme pilot for a specific design team.
Middle: The pilot was a resounding success and gave us an insight into what else was needed to roll out the programme to the broader business. We took a truly blended approach. We built three half day workshops to explore the core practical elements of presenting and story delivery techniques. We based these session on live work, so the learning was grounded in real-world application within the workshop itself. We provided access to an online portal to house all the theory and examples, and to ensure any face to face time was as practice-led as possible. Finally, we delivered 121 coaching sessions for all attendees to focus in on their specific skills development.
End: We’re two years in and still going strong. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and more than that, the results have shone through. Participants have not only improved their presentation structure and content, but their confidence and delivery skills.
The Plot: Using story crafting and sharing techniques to improve the way Nestlé communicates to its people, partners and customers.
Beginning: Our work with Nestlé started out as a simple two-hour workshop to help groups of senior leaders from across their European businesses to explore the use of stories in their communications. The sessions were delivered to group of six individuals as part of a broader leadership programme.
Middle: Following on from the success of the smaller workshop we were asked, both by individuals who attended and by a number Communications and HR teams to support in the delivery of longer and more in-depth sessions. We ran a two day programme for Purina UK on using stories to bring their communications to life, a one day session (also for Purina) to help management to define change messaging, and began consulting with Nestlé Professional on redefining their Employer Brand story.
End: We continue to work with individuals and groups within Nestlé, now as an approved supplier. Most recently we have been engaged by Nestlé Water to support another change programme with storytelling tools to engage people around a new set of working practices. This work continues into 2018.
The Plot: Defining a set of leadership brand stories, aligned with the core Proco story and obtain the skills to gather internal employee stories.
Beginning: Proco has a charismatic founder in Richard Paisley, but they felt he was the only one able to share their story effectively. Their story continues to be one of speed and expansion in their sector (recruitment within Supply Chain, globally), with reach and employees growing rapidly since they were founded in 2008. Our job was to help get his leadership team to a place where they could interpret Richard’s story into a strong Employer Brand that was ‘sticky’ and easily remembered.
Middle: We worked with the leadership team to define their brand/business story timeline, organisational character and personal leader stories. Through a series of consultancy sessions and workshops we partnered with their internal learning and communications functions to create a set of tools that allowed the leaders to demonstrate their personal origin stories in line with the core theme.
End: The internal comms and people team now uses these tools to develop the employer brand story from our advice and support. By sharing personal stories the leadership team each has an origin story designed to be shared with their teams. They also have the skills to gather their team’s personal brand stories that can form the basis of conversations with clients and candidates.
The Plot: Supporting a broad group of individuals to effectively communicate complex data using story
Beginning: Edelman Berland is the marketing and insights division of the world’s largest PR company. Already excellent communicators, the UK team wanted to find a creative and story-led way to connect with the rest of the organisation and with clients. We were asked to create and run a storytelling workshop we called ‘Statistically Speaking’ to help them translate their data into compelling written communications.
Middle: We worked with James Turner (COO, Edelman Berland) and his UK teams to design ‘Statistically Speaking’, a one day event for his core team, using Edelman specific information and content. The session was designed for a range of levels, from CEO all the way through to Personal Assistant. We used our core specialism in storytelling to adapt our existing content to include Edelman’s own stories and data to help the team create new and accessible communication.
End: James and the team left with the tools they needed to communicate more effectively as well as the ability to create and tell better stories. These stories were put into practice immediately on client presentations. As a result we have worked with other divisions of Edelman on a number of other story workshops and large scale events and communication projects in Europe and the USA.
The Plot: To craft content and copy for pitches and award submissions for media agency The7Stars as they continue to win big with awards like Media Week Agency of the Year.
Beginning: We starter work with The7Stars in 2014 on some copywriting workshops. We’d been asked to create a programme of half day and full day workshops that explored the areas of engaging copy and creative action. We continued to work with the agency in 2015 to develop their people in these core skills to support them in building brilliant ideas for media coverage and great copy for blogs, award submissions and pitches.
Middle: As we began to grow the talent of the agency we were invited to support them in a number of additional ways. We held a series of 121 surgeries to help the team to submit work for the 2015 Media Week Awards, where they won Agency of the Year. We were also asked to support them with creative action workshops at some external events with their clients.
End: We continue to work with the brilliant team at The7Stars as they get bigger and bigger. It’s exciting to see how the ideas and tools that we’ve shared have started to work their way into the business. Creative ideas becoming action through new idea generation practices and writing content becoming more engaging both internally and on their website.
The Plot: to provide a series of interactive keynote events for 250 members of a global department.
Beginning: We’ve done several pieces of work for Kimberly-Clark over the past two years, starting with a workshop on storytelling with data, then facilitating a leadership team strategy offsite. As a result of our successes in these areas we were asked to design a number of events for the meeting of the Global Marketing, Research and Analytics teams in Wisconsin, USA.
Middle: The events we designed and delivered were:
- a two-hour keynote session to establish the core principles and practices of using stories for brand marketing informed by data insights. This session included both a keynote on the science of storytelling as well as large interactive exploration of their use across marketing teams.
- a half day workshop on using story to define your personal brand. This session was highly interactive, with a series of activities focused around understanding brand archetypes, shaping personal stories and crafting compelling and sharable content.
End: Having worked closely with KC senior leadership and project teams to integrate the content into the wider event, we also supported those leaders with the delivery of their own content. Helping to ensure that the event had core story-led content at its centre. The result was a successful three day conference for 250 people from four continents.
There were tangible takeaways from the presentation that can be used in my current day to day work and beyond.Kantar Europanel
A genuine demonstration of how a story structure enhances the message you are trying to convey – actually linking an example to the theory that was covered really proved the value of the material.Bob Martin UK Ltd
(Simon) was excellent and his content captivating.Moet Hennessy UK
Brilliant content and delivery from Simon – engaging presentation!Diageo
Grow the Story is part of Grow the People Ltd.
a spot of social
Got a favourite film, TV show or brand story from the year so far? The GTS team share their favourites in our lates… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Creating great content means knowing how to write, even if the content itself isn't in writing. Just ask a playwrig… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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