Every Company Has a Story to Tell

by Dave Hannon

February 17, 2012

By Dave Hannon


There's one thing you learn quickly in journalism: Everyone's got a story to tell. Make someone comfortable, ask a few friendly questions about their background and whammo--you're off and running on a story. Finding a story is not nearly as hard as some people might think and when you have a deadline on Thursday, by Tuesday you're striking up a lot of those conversations.

While I don't interview "people" about their personal lives so much these days, I interview companies about their "stories" and the same holds true. Every company is (or should be) doing something interesting. A new business challenge, a new IT rollout, a new acquisition, there's always something to hear about. Heck, just take a look at this lineup of case studies we've done in the past couple years in insiderPROFILES--a pretty diverse list of companies and business challenges. 

But take it from me, the best place to hear a company's story firsthand is during a conference presentation. Sure, they've got their prepared presentation to show, but once you get in that room and a few questions start bouncing around, you'll almost always hear more of "the story" than the slides will provide. The motivations, the hurdles, the curveballs that pop up. Those are the things that make the story interesting and, often, more relatable to you.

I personally am looking forward to hearing the case studies presented at the SAPinsider confe rences coming up. Maybe I've been doing this too long, but when I read titles like "An inside look at Pitney Bowes' journey to provide critical HR data to decision makers" and "How Colgate utilizes SAP HANA and in-memory computing to drive commercial goal setting for its finance department," questions start popping into my head. Why did they start this project? Who was involved? How long did it take? What mistakes did they make during the project? (You can learn more from mistakes than successes.)

The SAPinsider conference production team does a great job of calling out the case studies in the program to let folks like me seek them out easily. And I plan to catch as many as I can.

You'll see me. I'll be the guy with the notepad scribbling down my questions.

Check out the Upcoming Conference Schedule Here.

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Lucy Swedberg

9/25/2013 9:00:56 PM

You're so spot on. There's nothing like a great story. I'm reminded of that every time I have the pleasure of catching The Moth Radio Hour on NPR. Or, of course, whenever I'm reading a new insiderPROFILES case study.
I also can't help but point out how much the word "notepad" stood out to me in the last line of your blog. I, too, am a big fan of jotting down actual notes on paper. But I'm envisioning a conference room full of tablet-tapping attendees contrasting your pencil moving a mile a minute!