I really like this TEDx talk from economist Tyler Cowen called Be suspicious of stories. I think anyone in a leadership role should watch it and think about what it might mean. Like Tyler, I am not advocating we stop using story - but it is useful to think about the potential ramifications of oversimplifying things through story. Stories, by their nature, are easy to remember and draw broad conclusions.
For managers and leaders, stories can pull people in, galvanize them, and build momentum. The down side is that many situations are more complex than can be told in a story and are not helped when made into a punchline.
I have seen employees roll their eyes and have heard them say their manager was clueless after hearing him/her oversimplify a situation. Work life (and personal life!) is messy and stories can increase mental laziness.
My favorite line from the video is, "It might just be a mess." How often do we force one or two plotlines onto something that is not plot driven? How often do we assume intent where there is just chaos? How often do we rush into a convenient narrative that does not fit the circumstance because we can't find a narrative that works?
Share this video as pre-work for your next team meeting and see what happens.