A person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way; a storyteller; a narrator
At Raconteur, we write corporate histories. We interview company owners and current and past executives and/or other employees. Combining interviews with researching newspaper databases and combing company archives, we present the full history of a company. We include photos alongside timelines and relevant text.
Why worry about the history of a corporation when the present has plenty of challenges?
Yes, the present is important, but we can learn from the past. Presenting the history of a company can show employees common goals, how the company has overcome challenges and adapted to changes, and inspire employees to use the past to look to the future.
Leaders can then use this history in the following ways:
-Instill a sense of identity and purpose in employees, while uniting and inspiring them.
-Shared history and experience bring people together to form communities and gives a group a distinct identity. When people know the history of the groups they belong to, they can feel that they are part of something larger than themselves. The history of a company reminds employees of “who they are.”
-Motivate employees to overcome challenges in the present.
-Any company has its share of failures and cautionary tales. Many companies have faced things like bankruptcy, economic recessions, competition, property damage, etc., at some point in their history, yet emerged stronger than they were before. Leaders can use these examples to inspire and motivate employees to stay the course and overcome present challenges.
-Heal rifts and adversity within the company.
-If a company is currently experiencing adversity, leaders can look to history for guidance. They can show employees that the company has been through worse times and came out stronger. There can be rifts within a company between younger and older employees, or employees with academic credentials but little experience and those with plenty of experience but a lack of academic degrees. A company’s history can point to a common mentality among all employees, regardless of academics and/or experience.
-Examine past failures to develop strategies for the future.
-Executives can learn from the past failures of a company to look to the future. They can show employees, “here’s where we could have done better in the past,” or “this is why these strategies didn’t work.” Using examples of how the company adapted (or didn’t adapt) to changes in the world and economy in the past can inspire employees and managers to adapt to the future.