Planificar es contar historias y conseguir hacerlas realidad

Los cuentos bien contados son siempre una buena manera de explicar una verdad. El cuentacuentos, hoy un poquito olvidado, era a veces el portador de la sabiduría de toda una generación, capaz de explicarla y, por lo tanto, transmitirla. Era el encargado de convertir el conocimiento tácito en conocimiento explícito en aquellas épocas en las que nada se sabía de la gestión del conocimiento o la inteligencia colectiva.

Pasar de la sabiduría a la aplicación real del conocimiento y, por lo tanto, a la consecución de resultados, es una parte del business planning. Tim Berry nos explica cómo, bajo su punto de vista, contar buenas historias es el principio de un buen plan, que completarás cuando consigas que tu cuento se convierta en la realidad esperada.

A diferencia del concepto peyorativo y anticuado sobre la figura del comercial o responsable de marketing, aquél en el que contar historias era equivalente a contar mentiras,  Berry nos convence de que una historia bien contada es el marco de referencia en el que construir tu estrategia, averiguar cómo llegar a ella y definir los pasos para irte acercando. También es la manera de aprender de éxitos y fracasos, solventar amenazas y aferrarse a las oportunidades.

La historia de nuestro negocio, de nuestro proyecto o, simplemente, de nuestro próximo paso, empieza cuando la explicamos bien, la desmenuzamos y la compartimos con el resto del equipo. ¡Contémosla!

Planning Is Telling Stories and Making Them Come True

by Tim Berry on February 17, 2011, in Business Planning

You could call this synchronicity. A few years ago I was reading Seth Godin’s All Marketers Are Liars at about the same time that I caught Harvey Cox talking about the power of stories as truth telling in all major religions. I paused to think about the importance of stories in so many different modes of thinking and communicating; and of course, me being obsessed with business planning, I started thinking of stories as building blocks of planning.
Fast forward to this month and I’ve been getting a lot of warm fuzzies for Let Your ‘Story’ Frame Your Business Plan, my most recent column at This is moving forward with my sense of planning and stories as closely related:
Suspend your image of a business plan as a document, for a while, and think of it as a collection of stories combined with concrete specifics or goals that aim to make those stories come true.
Just to give you the idea, think of your marketing strategy as a story about how a specific kind of buyer solves a problem or gets something he or she wants by encountering your business. What did she want? How did he find you? What made you different? These are all stories.
A sales forecast tells a story. An expense budget tells a story. So does a set of starting costs, and a balance sheet, and a cash flow projection. I don’t know about you, but I can’t think through these numbers without imagining the purchase decision, the channel, the process, and the scale of units, prices, and costs, assets we need, debts we accumulate, and so on. I can’t be the only one who sees stories in numbers. I hope. Maybe this is what happens when former lit majors fall in love with business analysis, but I’m hoping you agree.
The best way to talk about goals is a story:
Think about your long-term objectives story. Are you looking for wealth and fame, or to do what you like? What does success look like to you? Is it getting financed and making millions, or taking off at 4 p.m. to coach your kids’ soccer team?
And the planning specifics take those stories and break them into specifics required to make them come true:
As you imagine what those stories are, break them down into meaningful, trackable parts. Set tasks associated with those stories, assign tasks to people and give them dates.
The Seth Godin book carries the subtitle: the power of telling authentic stories. I say we go it one step further: we tell authentic stories and make them come true. And that’s a really good path to better business planning. 


About Tim Berry

President and founder of Palo Alto Software. Founder of Most recent book is The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan. Father of five, married 39 years, ex-hippy baby boomer entrepreneur, author of 7 published books and Business Plan Pro.

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