Five exercises to see whether your organization has a clear narrative

For an illuminating look at how you and others view your organization, try the following porky pigexercises.

  1. Ask yourself, “If I was at a cocktail party and someone asked me to tell them about my organization, what would I say?” Write down the answer—preferably in less than 30 words and in under a minute.
  2. Take an informal poll of co-workers and staff by asking them to tell the organization’s story. To make it simpler, try asking them, “What we do and why do we do it?” Take notes on their responses.
  3. Ask several people outside of work what they think your organization does. Is there a common theme that emerges? Is it the one you want to be known for?
  4. Ask your family how they explain what you do.
  5. f you are feeling brave, try asking your social media contacts what they like or hate about your organization. Be prepared, however: you may not like what you hear.

Are the answers consistent? Are they the optimal? If you’re like most of us, there’s a lot of room for education and improvement. This is a helpful series of exercises to carry out at regular intervals as you develop and disseminate your organization’s story, as a way to gauge its effectiveness.