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Storytelling in Action

Putting people at the heart of strategy

Workplace innovation

At StrategyStory, we work with partners who have an appetite for innovation and a passion for putting their people at the heart of progress.

But what is it that we do together?

Well, we develop strategies through storytelling. The stories of people in an organisation inform the development of the strategy. So the strategy reflects reality – and teams are at the centre of making that happen.

We’re in partnership with family-owned, international security company Pointer Ltd. Here, Senior Engineer, Nigel Upson shares his story of our work so far.


Nigel Upson and Gillian MacAulay from Pointer using audio recording equipment
Nigel Upson and Gillian McAulay from Pointer’s StrategyStory team preparing for interviews

“I am sure that when StrategyStory was first discussed in Pointer everybody was thinking ‘what’s this all about, what’s different to other strategy discussions and initiatives?’

It’s a fair question to ask.

When we, (now the ‘StrategyStory Team’) first volunteered we asked the same question. We also wanted to understand  exactly what we would be doing, why, how and what it would mean to Pointer? It’s fair to say things have certainly progressed from there and we are all enjoying the ride so far. 

When we all had our initial discussions with Kate Hooper from StrategyStory and moved into our meetings with Kate and Professor Donald Maclean, we began to understand. The story unravelled and the picture began to become clear on how we could help the Management Team drive a meaningful and deliverable Strategy for Pointer. We learned about the impact that the StrategyStory Team could have in gathering information, views, ideas and opinions through interviews, events and other story gathering activities.


Pointer's StrategyStory team in conversation with Pointer Director, Sandy Rowan
Pointer’s StrategyStory team in conversation with Pointer Director, Sandy Rowan

We have all been provided with audio interviewing equipment and on the day we were given our first challenge; the opportunity to conduct an interview individually with each other and then in pairs with a member of the Strategy Team.

Our Directors, Sandy and Alex, for example, were our first guinea pigs. It’s fair to say that the interviews went well, the training paid off and, with Kate and Donald’s help on the day, we obtained some great content as well as the experience of making the equipment work of course. 

StrategyStory's Kate Hooper delivering training to Pointer Ltd in storytelling, interview skills and audio recording
StrategyStory’s Kate Hooper delivering training to Pointer Ltd in storytelling, interview skills and audio recording

Now, armed with the knowledge and the training, we had to move on to our first formal set of interviews. Kate instigated some questions based around finding out some things about our Strategy Team’s thoughts regarding their own journey with Pointer: the things we do well, where we can improve, our customers and our challenges as we move forward.

Working with the technology was our first challenge but we used video conferencing, worked in pairs and recorded our interviews face to face thus video and audio. This was a very enjoyable experience and we certainly got some worthwhile answers which have given us some really good insights to work with.

Since that time in working under Kate’s guidance and alongside her in meetings, we have been getting together regularly to discuss how things are progressing, how the content can be used and how we are going to move forward based on what we have learned and done already.

Pointer Engineer Ben Hopper interviewing Gillian McAulay, Installation and Project support
Bringing people together to share stories: Pointer Engineer Ben Hopper interviewing Gillian McAulay, Installation and Project support

Kate has been editing and formatting and has delivered some very good audio soundbites to the Strategy Team which have been very well received. 

So that’s the (Strategy)Story so far. The questions will be I am sure, where are we going with this, and what do we know?  Crucially, how can Pointer people help us to do what we have set out to do? 

Listening to and working with the StrategyStory Team, we know that all of us, the Pointer people, work closely with our Senior Management Team to deliver the Strategy.

We all make it work.

We all have important ideas, opinions, views and stories that can make a difference, and it’s those stories that we need to gather. It’s not about the size of an idea it’s about what it means. It’s also not just about the great, it’s about the not so great. What do we do well and what don’t we do so well? Where can we improve so our customer interactions and operational activities retain the very high levels and quality that we already achieve?

We need to continue to maintain the quality in the areas we currently work in and move into new areas as well where we can make that count in the long term.

I guess what we hope is that by talking to our people and listening to what makes it work, we can help that happen.”

Sandy adds: “Storytelling is the opportunity for everyone to tell us the good and the bad. And for us to accept that. It’s not perfect. But if we know about it as a team, then there are solutions. A lot of this comes down to working across areas of the business, and not being stuck in vertical silos because the solutions often sit next door, but if no one knows about it, nothing can be done about it.”


Thanks to Nigel from StrategyStory for his words. Read more about Pointer’s strategy development here.

Sound interesting?

Liked this? You might enjoy our Benefits of a Storytelling Culture page

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StrategyStory supports businesses to develop strategies that work. This means strategy as collective action rather than a dusty document. We deliver through partnership programmes, online learning, workshops, seminars and public speaking. We deliver lectures, talks and sessions on strategy and storytelling at private and public events.

If you’d like to arrange a conversation, please contact us at hello@strategystory.co.uk

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