SOLACE, ICMA AND CAMA Launch Report on the Value of Storytelling in Local Government

At a time when respect for traditional institutions and professional authority is in decline, public service leaders have been found to adapt their leadership techniques to take account of a radically changing world.

This shift is brought to life in Storytellers in Chief: How Top Local Government Managers Use Storytelling to Lead’, an empirical study which has taken place over the course of a decade. It was jointly commissioned by the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE), International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) which together represent chief executives, city managers, chief administrative officers, and other senior managers across the United Kingdom, the USA, Canada and beyond.

This new resource identifies five major themes that emerged from interviews with more than 120 chief executives, city managers and other senior managers across the UK, USA, and Canada and highlights ways in which storytelling – and the broader idea of narrative – represents a significant part of everyday leadership practices.

In the study, stories emerge as a powerful and purposive medium. Leaders use these as a means for working with and through others, as well as encouraging collaboration, developing the next generation, passing on knowledge and forging a common identity.  Storytelling is a way of achieving influence, of moving, motivating and persuading others to take action in pursuit of the public good.

You can also access the full report here.