A short while ago, a father and son regularly stayed at a hotel next to a medical centre where the young boy was having treatment for cancer. When it reached the chemotherapy stage, the child was extremely nervous about losing his hair.
On the night before starting the chemo, the father told the hotel staff he would be shaving his hair, along with the boy's, to make him feel better about the situation. By the next morning, the waiting staff had shaved their heads too. All for one and one for all.
The hotel staff said they did this to 'show they care' - a sentiment which became a constant refrain.
The Storytellers help companies like the hotel chain map their journey by drawing out a set of beliefs, priorities and behaviours that people can rally round.
'It's easy to forget that it's human beings who make change happen in business,' says Scott Garrett, CEO of consultancy group The Storytellers. 'That's what we focus on. The storytelling programme makes people feel emotionally connected and helps them understand what makes the business stand out.'
It's essential because understanding the company's strategy is fundamental to its success.
'People don't just work for money any more. They want to feel connected to the brand,' says Garrett. 'If leaders can engage employees with the company's mission, they'll inspire more loyalty and productivity, while staff turnover and absenteeism will go down.'
These are issues many companies are facing. Research by the Economist Intelligence Unit suggests 84% of senior leaders feel that disengaged employees present one of the biggest threats facing their business, but only 12% are tackling the problem.
'We take a creative look at the strategy by writing a story around it, examining what challenges the company is facing, its opportunities, its destination and why it's a good idea to head there,' Garrett says.
The Storytellers do this face to face, complemented by a multimedia platform which includes paper-based tools, slideshows and videos to bring the stories to life. The programme is aimed at companies with thousands of employees and Unilever, Coca-Cola and GlaxoSmithKline are just some of those which have benefited from their expertise.
Says Garrett: 'The story is the foundation on which success is built.'
For more information about the Storytellers, go to www.the-storytellers.com or call +44 20 7590 5454.