If you have what you think is a good idea and you're ready to get your team moving on it, how do you get them bought into your vision of the future?

Whether you're a manager, entrepreneur, or individual contributor, how do you make change happen? How do you get momentum for a creative idea when those you work with are typically oriented around what's already working?

It's all about the story you tell.

Just ask founder and CEO of creative consultancy Get Storied, Michael Margolis, who has spent his career researching and documenting the power stories can have on innovation. In his manifesto Believe Me, Margolis writes:

"We are hard wired to seek and make sense of the world through narratives...If you learn how to change the story, you can change anything."

Sharing ideas in the form of a story enables you to create a clearer vision around it than merely presenting facts, figures, and statements would. A story can help those you're presenting to imagine themselves in the future where your idea is already a reality, and the benefits are visible or tangible.

The power of stories is one reason Steve Jobs was such a phenomenal presenter and innovative leader: he sold both products and ideas not by putting them in front of us, but by getting us involved in their story. 

Still, despite the clear effect of sharing a good narrative around our idea, many of us fall into the trap of thinking the only thing we need to move an idea forward is data. Yet data and information can't tell a clear story about what might happen, they are only useful in recapping what's already taken place or how trends may evolve.

If you want to get others involved in your idea, you have to tell them the story of how it will play out and the role they have in it. Margolis writes:

"You must learn how to translate what you see into a story others can equally believe... People don't want more information. They are up to their eyeballs in information. They want faith--faith in you, your goals, your success, in the story you tell."

Imagine being able to take any idea, share it with the movers and shakers on your team, and get them not only bought into it, but energized by it.

How do successful innovators tell the most captivating stories? Margolis gives us three keys:

1. Use the standard story structure

Every story begins with the set-up, establishing the foundation of the current world and recognizing how everyone involved got to where they are today. Start by sharing what you know to be true in order to establish a familiar content for the story you're about to tell. Address who is involved, what their role has historically been, how things have developed, and why what comes next is going to matter.

Here Margolis says: "Remind us of what we all want and care about to give us a story we can get behind."

Next, move onto the confrontation: what is the problem that has arisen from the set-up? In any good story there's a point of confrontation where the hero--or heroes--has to face their problem or the call of adventure. What is the confrontation in your story; what will your idea resolve by becoming a reality?

Lastly, comes resolution. What happens once the hero accomplishes what they set out to do? When your idea is turned into a reality, what's the benefit to everyone involved and how does the world surrounding the idea change?

2. Turn the audience into the heroes

It can be tempting to make yourself or your idea into the hero of the story, but the actual hero must be your audience--otherwise you wouldn't need them to buy into the idea in the first place, right?

"How might you make your audience the hero in your story? What might their actions do to transform the plot?" Margolis writes.

Turn the support you need for your idea into the action the hero takes to overcome the confrontation in your story. What does the hero do in order to overcome a hurdle or to answer the call of adventure? If necessary, pull in a cast of allies you know can help the hero through the story: peers, managers, partners, or tools and resources.

3. Cultivate trust and confidence

Why should anyone listen to the story you have to tell in the first place? If you haven't  built trust and confidence, whatever story you tell is going to be hard to swallow.

Share examples of other stories that have involved you and how those stories ended. What have your past victories looked like, who have you helped turn their ideas into a reality, how have you gained confidence or trust in the past?

As Margolis reminds us: "Faith in you is faith in the stories you tell."