Associations are often told that they need to “tell a story” around their mission, and the news these days is full of examples of how complicated that can be. The machines aren’t getting storytelling right: Microsoft launched an AI chatbot that quickly gained a reputation for being “weird and creepy.” Other tools like ChatGPT have become so proficient at mimicking storytelling that we’re now awash in fake stories; a science-fiction magazine recently had to close submissions after being overwhelmed by AI-generated tales.
Your association's story is hopefully less creepy and more authentic. And all the conversation around AI should underscore just how important storytelling is for your audience.
In a recent Harvard Business Review piece, four leadership consultants discussed just how intimately connected story is to an organization’s strategy. That's especially true in nonprofitdom, where so much of the mission is about persuading audiences about the importance of a particular cause or profession. As the authors point out, "people are not fully rational actors, motivated by facts and logic alone. Stories can bind the logical ingredients of a strategy into an engaging narrative which can move their audience to act."
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