At every phase of the new product life cycle, the use of story helps reduce project risk and optimize results. Stories help teams create value reliably, with greater efficiency and efficacy.  What is story though?

For the purposes of value creation, one can define it as the "narrative expression of a desired past, present and future." The use of the term expression here implies the many vectors through which story can be delivered, both short and long form, visual and written, static and unfolding.

For example, founders make a pitch deck to raise money. Product managers write requirements to help engineers understand customer needs. Marketers craft brand images with creatives and produce videos to impress and call to action.

Here are seven great reasons to graft story expertise to your new product team.

  • Power - Stories glue people to message because they touch every part of the brain. They are more than intellectual, objective delivery of facts. Rather, they make an intuitive and emotional connection through the sight, sense and sound elements of the story itself.
  • Virality - Stories are easily remembered and become the oral tradition of a company or a project. They are widely shared, between team members and with outsiders.
  • Engagement - Story encourages participation by all constituents at every stage of the new product. They make people care. They get the attention of the team and motivate people to action.
  • Alignment - Succinct stories expose concrete truth and equip teams for shared work. Teams with a shared future and language are more likely to be on the same page, building the same product. They have less internal friction, use fewer resources, and bring new products to market faster (thus reducing market risks).
  • Resilience - Stories help team members understand the emotional truth of the market’s needs. A team that follows such principles rather than rules can better answer the question of how do we as a team adapt to unforeseen circumstances. That makes them more resilient to the inevitable market changes that occur, either internally identified opportunity or externally generated threats.
  • Transcendence - Stories reshape knowledge and data into meaning. They transcend the present. They give teams purpose and inspiration that leads to positive, irreversible change in the world.
  • Accretion - Longer term relationships with product / brand create an opportunity to build an epic story, where new aspects of story add to the existing narrative and build stronger connection to all constituents.