The advent of the social enterprise is upon us. We are all about to embark upon corporate communication as we have never known it. Communication across multiple media and multiple lines, with folks we know or want to know. Immediate communication. Precisely targeted communication. Democratically sourced communication.
Fluid boundaries are the mark of the social enterprise — so enterprise messages must be ever more precise. And they must be distinguishable from those of other enterprises, especially from your competitors.
One thing has not changed. Differentiation begins with your story.
So before you even begin to embrace the potent advantages of the social enterprise experience, know the story you want to tell. Don't even think about technology or new marketing initiatives without pondering your story.
The leading corporate advisor Nancy Duarte has a terrific approach to the personal story, and it applies perfectly to the enterprise.
Duarte focuses on what she calls the transformative idea. What is the idea that led to your enterprise? What are the ideas that gave it shape? What are the ideas that keep it relevant and of use to your customers and stakeholders? Who are the characters that enrich your story? Where are the new chapters of your story being written?
Your story drives your messages, your brand, your presence. Or it should. Think Zappos, Starbucks, Trader Joe's, Apple, Dyson. Your story will fortify your organization as it transforms into a social enterprise. Your story will help your stakeholders understand who you are and give them reasons to build relationships with your enterprise, person to person.