Business and community development

We work with small and large organisations, locally, nationally and internationally, private, public and community-orientated. Our process puts people, and their stories, at the heart of strategy development.

We care about developing strategies that really work for communities and businesses. Below is a recent example from our work with the National Council of Rural Advisers.


Pioneering development
We are committed to pioneering new and better ways for work, for example:


The Red Squirrel business movement
Red Squirrel is a research concept developed by Professor Donald MacLean. StrategyStory is turning the concept into a movement and business practice.

We are pioneering distinctive forms of highland and rural organisation and business models.

To have a conversation about your business please contact us at

So, what does this actually mean?
In today’s business world, ideas around successful organisations are often defined through terms such as ‘profit-maximising’ and ‘growth-driven’.

While relevant, the above terms don’t necessarily support the full picture for ambitious businesses in rural regions. Creative businesses that are closely linked to community and place need more than a ‘one size fits all’ approach to business strategy.

Red Squirrel: a new approach
Donald's 'Red Squirrel' research suggests that there are distinct benefits to developing a rural approach to business development and growth. We can play to our strengths and offer a form of organisation and business that not only places sustainability, personality and community values at the forefront, but fosters the agility, innovation and creativity that our international partners – and competitors – increasingly seek.

So, why do we call this research Red Squirrel? Watch our video to find out more!

or please contact us at for an informal conversation.

“The StrategyStory team have a deep understanding of business and rural organisation in the Highlands and Islands and a refreshing respect for the power of ‘the story’. They have combined this knowledge and sense of place with high level strategic thinking and communication skills to create a unique and exciting new approach to business development. Their extensive experience, creative energy and pioneering outlook have made a vital contribution to the concept development and strategic progression of Ionad Hiort, the St Kilda Centre.”

Malcolm Maclean FRSA
Adviser to Ionad Hiort, the St Kilda Centre
Former Chair Of UNESCO Scotland and CEO of Proiseact Nan Ealain, the National Gaelic Arts Agency

We work in the Outer Hebrides with community-driven Ionad Hiort to support regional development and collaboration.

For more on strategy and development please contact us at