Telling contagious stories

Looking across all of our propositions, we have found two important lessons that we will take into the future.

The first is that the stories we tell – and how we tell them - really matter. Telling the story of our propositions is a key way forward to make the Better Way real, to unlock belief, commitment and action.  By drawing on the rich and positive experience around us we can ‘give ideas friends’. We also need to be willing to be braver and more outspoken in what we say. We can learn from the public narrative model of storytelling, starting with the self, then us, moving to why this is urgent now and ending with a call to action. This is more dynamic than case studies, which all too often remain 'on the shelf'.

The second lesson is how inter-connected the propositions are. Putting only one into practice is unlikely to work.  An interesting example of this is the Dutch Buurtzorg model of neighbourhood care, which involves empowered staff developing strong relationships with those they help and leading to a more preventative approach.  However, we understand this has proved difficult to replicate in the UK context, where so much is controlled from the centre.   It is important that our stories 'join up the dots'.

The tragedy of Grenfell Tower stimulated a great deal of debate within our cells, captured by this note of the discussion in our founding cell and this piece by Sue Tibballs on some of the lessons to be learnt.  Not only were we able to share insights into what can be learned and ideas for what might need to change, but also we realised that after events like this there are always competing narratives, and that one of our tasks should be to inject Better Way thinking into the discussion and debates which will shape the course of subsequent action.

 Over the course of the next year, we will aim to develop a contagious narrative to communicate what we mean and inspire others.