A story is crafted with the end in mind- just don’t let the audience figure it out too early. Whether that story ends in an expected manner depends on the chain of events that impacts the final destination. Regardless of how compelling the journey, we always want to know, “yeah, but how did it end?!” Some folks just need to know the yield, but for people like myself I want the behind the scenes look too.
Stories feature a resolution in order to provide closure for the audience. Each member of that audience usually argue as to how well the finale meshes with all the information presented in that story. The decision they arrive at hinges on how well the story was told and how the conclusion was reached. This story satisfaction is a huge factor in the impact and life of your story.
While the conclusion is the final feature seen by the audience, does the destination have a greater say over whether or not the story was a good one? I think not. We hear daily how, ‘it’s about the journey, not the destination‘. How many times have we all failed along the way and still gleaned valuable lessons for moving forward? We may not be pleased at initially with the result but it might be a blessing in disguise. Those fellas in The Rolling Stones were pretty wise after all.
Ultimately, people itch for the truth and how it all played out. Did the princess finally wind up with the red-headed peasant boy? Was the main character successful in his conquest of that rival baseball team? How did your business overcome unforeseen circumstances threatening your product? Those are the climactic moments when attention is heightened. Like it or not, folks judge the content of a story based upon their reaction to the ending. Is the end result the one the audience desired? Is your conclusion the finish line for which they yearned?
Now how does this all work for a narrative in business? Take the ideas above and apply them to your company’s history. Where are you today based on these stories? Where are you headed? There are victories to sing about and times to regroup and reflect upon. These moments all paint a more humanizing portrait of your organization which gives consumers a peak into your world. They’ll be able to see that your successes and frustrations are just like theirs, opening your business up to more dialogue and therefore greater visibility. People want to know who you are – show them! Your stories are waiting and ready to be told. We’re all ears.