The latest insights on narrative, storytelling and leadership in higher education.

Developing and communicating narratives

Create a refreshed vision and approach for your team, department or institutional narrative, bringing people with you as they find their place in the story.


Universities need to create and live a shared narrative at every level across their organisation. A shared narrative engages everyone in working toward a common aspiration. It nurtures collective ownership and asks everyone to play their part so that the aspirations of each team, department, or for the University as a whole, can be realised. Working in partnership with you, we’ll create a face to face, online or blended experience that will unlock your narrative and engage peoples energy to make change happen.  


What does a narrative look like?

 Narrative is understanding your purpose, creating a vision and communicating this to others. It unlocks in your audience’s mind the answer to the question, ‘Why?’.

At a local level, you may be seeking a narrative that enhances the impact of your department’s research, raises the profile and purpose of your team, or that increases student application numbers.

At an organisational level, you may be seeking a narrative to help your department or University climb local or global rankings, enhance your international presence, or to enrich the civic activities of your University. This might take the form of:

  • Writing strategies at an institutional, faculty or departmental level
  • Creating a narrative for the Teaching Excellence Framework, at institutional or subject level
  • Finding creative ways to express a vision beyond a written document (e.g. an installation, production, film etc.)

How can we help?

Working in partnership with you, we will develop a bespoke programme that aligns with the narrative you are seeking to create. We will help plan and implement how to communicate this beyond a vision and create practical outcomes that will both empower your message carriers and motivate people to take action.

Whilst each programme is unique, we believe that you can’t get to where you want to go until you know where you are coming from. So our starting point will be to establish a shared purpose and language as the foundation of your programme. From here, we focus on building a collective sense of identity, together with creating a future vision and practical actions that your community owns and leads.

The length, breadth and scale of the programme is designed to meet your needs and achieve the outcomes you are looking for. For every programme created with you we use an iterative process of design and feedback.

Case studies and testimonials

Curating our narrative

School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh

Over a period of six months, Invisible Grail worked with Professor Charlotte Clarke, former Head of the School of Health in Social Science, and her colleagues at the University of Edinburgh to enable them to curate a shared narrative for their School.

Building a senior leadership community

University of Chichester

When Jane arrived as the University’s new Vice-Chancellor in May 2017, she was determined that leadership of the institution should not be confined to a handful of senior managers. She saw in the grouping of almost 30 heads of academic and professional services departments the potential to lead the University to a sustainable future through engaging the wider workforce with a compelling narrative.

We invited Invisible Grail to act as our ‘author in residence’ as we drafted and refined our institutional strategy. They helped us to convene excellent conversations, to bring a focus to our efforts to distil those conversations into prose and to work on the gradual refinement of those ideas. Working with them was a very positive experience and I would highly recommend them to others.”

Professor Robert MacIntosh
Head of School of Social Sciences
Heriot-Watt University

Find out more

If you would like to explore what developing and communicating a narrative could mean for you, or if you already have a project in mind but would like to explore how we can help, please contact Louise or Paul:

Louise Clifton, Director of Marketing, Communications and Operations

Paul Gentle, Academic Director