Changing culture by selecting Hero Stories

December 9th, 2020

The hero stories I'm talking about are described in Model: hero stories to get the real culture.

The summary is that the stories people tell, are a very good indication of what the culture values.


But what if we flip this around?


We select and search out stories that match certain values.

And we keep telling those stories to newcomers and regulars alike.


Say you want your culture to value 'openness / transparency' more.

Can you find a Hero Story of someone in the organisation that matches it?


eg. "This one time this person messed up, and was afraid to tell. Really wanting to ignore and cover this up. But stood up anyway, and came out with it. Someone else told in private of an unrelated mistake that that person made. But these two mistakes together would have been disastrous for the company, if left unchecked. They figured it out in time, thanks to this person's courage!"


Hunt down a real story like that?

Ignoring all other stories that don't express the values you want to encourage.

And start telling this story, and keep telling it.

Collect more stories like it. Start telling those as well!