The whiteboard is likely the cradle where your business narratives are born. It is also where your first customer meeting will start. Learn more about how to exploit whiteboards for story creation.
The best business stories are the ones that fit on a napkin. Crisp enough to fit in such a small frame. A sketch is a visualization of thoughts and insights, packaged to be easily understood. Such content is often born on a whiteboard and refined in a small collaboration group. You can also exploit this format as the base for creating your own social media content. Since this format has many similarities with the short attention span your social media audience has.
All great visualizations starts with a clear articulation of the customer problem. Best when refined into the Brutal Truths and Key Insights you have identified. Your best stories are born out of your best questions. Be creative and challenge the whole team in crafting challenging questions for the content team.
Another source for ideas is your sales people with the best ability to capture customer insights. Assign the idea collection to someone in the team so you get a constant flow in of new ideas to the team. You can enter into the creative mode once the problem statements are clear. Add a visual mind early on to the team. It is worthwhile already at the whiteboard stage.
The output in this case could be short Whiteboard sketch notes, designed for use by your sales organization. These notes serve the purpose of being input to a blog-post, a visual or a video. This sketch can also serve as a guide to the sales force for customer meetings. Your best sales person leaves power-points at the office going forward. a great recipe is to provide provides links to your social content ahead of the meeting. It is also great as a base for collaboration with the customer using pens and whiteboard. This types of collaborations are soon work well through collaboration screens at different locations.
Good questions to develop your skills around in this area are:
- Who is the best storyteller in our organizations? – He or she should be part of the brainstorming sessions
- Which existing whiteboard sketches can we start from? – Most likely your first stories have already been up on the board in draft format.
- Who could contribute to taking the stories to the next level? – Leverage the broader capabilities of your team.
- How do we start tracking story ideas generated by our organization? – You need a good gross-list to start from as input in the process.
Great inspiration material in this area is:
- Lead with a story: A guide to creating business narratives that captivate, convince and inspire [eBOOK] – Paul Smith
- From the cradle to a content creating company [BLOG] – by Noman Ali, Search Engine Journal
- Mastering the discipline of business narrative [ARTICLE] – by Stephen Denning
- The back of the napkin: Solving problems and selling ideas with pictures [BOOK] – by Dan Roam
- Whiteboard selling : Empowering sales through visuals [eBOOK] – by Corey Sommers and David Jenkins
I hope this development area take you and your organization forward in creating powerful business narratives, as base for content creation and for use in customer collaborations.