The entire Guide is worth reading, but what particularly jumped out at me in the table of contents was the section titled "The Culture of Stories," because it addresses my "teeth pulling" problem stated above. In order to avoid this frustration, the Guide suggests that all staff must have "a sense for how stories add value to their own work and the organization's work as a whole" and it goes on to provide steps for making that goal into a reality. Additionally the Foundation provides materials to help develop the culture of storytelling, such as how to hire people who can tell stories and assessing an organization's storytelling culture.
What this portion of the Guide doesn't specifically mention, but strikes me as a potential opportunity, is that training storytellers within the organization could develop more loyal, committed, and insightful employees, volunteers, and board members. Through the act of developing a story a person is reminded of why the organization exists, who/what is being helped, why they became involved, and the role they played in helping. These are easy to forget when a person gets busy with day-to-day work, and when those factors are forgotten commitment may erode. Remembering the role they played is like getting a pat on the back, which many people don't give themselves nearly often enough. This can give someone a renewed sense of purpose and desire to stick with a nonprofit even when the times get tough.
Thinking about a story may also give a person time to reflect on what went well and what could be improved for the future. There is not nearly enough nonjudgmental reflection occurring in most organizations. All too often organizations engage in formal evaluation and diagnosing what was done wrong rather than encouraging personal reflection on situations, which can lead to great insights.
Letting storytelling serve multiple purposes--fundraising, outreach, employee development, organizational improvement--is the perfect reasoning to use when trying to develop a "culture of stories" in an environment that may initially be resistant. This is one more way for staff to have "a sense of how stories add value to their own work and the organization's work as a whole," as the Guide suggests. Storytelling becomes a valuable tool, because it is an efficient use of time and resources that deepens the understanding of the organization while improving its operations. This clear value helps with getting buy-in to the concept from executive officers to stakeholders to volunteers. It becomes a "why wouldn't we?" situation rather than a "why bother?" situation, and that is a critical tipping point in creating a "culture of stories".