Storytelling is a real opportunity to connect innovators buried inside the organisation with our customers.

Caitlin Smith, Digital Communications Manager at Continental, participated in the inaugural #BecauseInnovation Storytelling Lab organised with our partners — Diffferent in Berlin. After the workshop, I caught up with Caitlin to understand how she uses stories to engage internal and external stakeholders.

Caitlin Smith, Digital Communications Manager at Continental

“Storytelling is a sense-making exercise that allows us to communicate the benefits of the transition across the business.”

How do you communicate such an abstract concept?
Storytelling plays an important role. It allows us to explain not just what we’re doing, but why we are doing it. Let’s take the work we’re doing within the organisation as an example. Storytelling is a sense-making exercise that allows us to communicate the benefits of the transition across the business. It’s a narrative about evolution rather than disruption. A story about possibilities rather than threats. This context is vital as it allows us to be inclusive and find internal change agents who can become public advocates for our innovations.

“If we think of our key stakeholders in generic terms — the customer, the employee, the business owner — we’ll end up with a stiff narrative.”

Can you explain what authenticity looks like in this context?
The commercial tyre industry is an interesting one, simply because of the sheer number of people it impacts. My view is that a tyre is not just a hulk of black-brown rubber, but a core unit of transportation that ensures things run smoothly. The story begins the moment you hop onto a bus or when you order something online with the expectation that it will be delivered on time. So this is a story of mobility or access with many different characters. If we think of our key stakeholders in generic terms — the customer, the employee, the business owner — we’ll end up with a stiff narrative. We have to learn to put ourselves in their shoes and really understand the individual connections to the product. That’s when we come up with authentic and, dare I say, exciting narratives.

The inaugural Berlin edition of the #BecauseInnovation storytelling lab

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I am interested in the context & values of our Digital Identities.

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Abhay Adhikari

I am interested in the context & values of our Digital Identities.