The brewery story can be used when talking about change to a group of people, I find the Brewery story as a great opener, it is also useful to split the story into two telling the second part of the story at the end of the presentation after you have delivered the content to emphasise its meaning and the need for change.
The Brewery Story.
The retirement party was taking place in the boardroom of a small family run brewery in a small market town in Yorkshire, in the boardroom were a group of work colleagues cerebrating the retirement of ‘Fred’ the transport manager who after 15 years in the job was retiring.
Fred was chatting to a man another older more ruddy faced man a decade or more older,
“I spent 15 years in this job and you spent at least ten more in this job before that, and there’s still one thing I never managed to do” said Fred to the older man.
“I still never managed to sort out the delivery scheduling during the week”, the older man nodded and Fred continued.
“Its just that a long delivery day on a Monday, then a half day on a Tuesday and Wednesday followed by no deliveries on a Thursday and then a full delivery day on a Friday really doesn’t work and what ever I did I never managed to fix it in 15 years”.
The older man took a sip of his pint of beer and perked up and said “I know it gave me a real headache too, the drivers were never happy, and the lorries just never managed to get loaded on time or we just had barrels sitting in the yard ready to be moved”.
“We should talk to ‘old Albert’ in the corner over there said the older man, “I’m sure there’s was a reason for it, and he did the job before me”.
The men moved over to the other side of the room and talked to ‘old Albert’ an even more ruddy faced old Yorkshire man.
“Albert” said Fred hoping that Albert had an answer to a problem that had been bugging the company for well over 25 years,
“For as far as we can remember we never managed to sort out a problem we had with the delivery lorries, can you tell us why we do a long delivery day on a Monday, then a half day on a Tuesday and Wednesday followed by no deliveries on a Thursday and then a full delivery day on a Friday”
“Albert said, “I think there was a reason for it” and he took a sip of his beer deep in thought, he looked at the two men and said I think it all goes back to when I was a lad here,
We did it that way because the horses were fresh on a Monday but needed a short day on Tuesday and Wednesday and a break on the Thursday.
The Brewery story is all about people doing things the way they always have done, people and organisations get habitual in their behaviour, this story is a great way to get people to think more about what and why they are doing what they are doing.