Team Not Jelling? Revive It With Authentic Internal Storytelling

3 min read
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You've done all the textbook steps to shape your organization—the mission statement polished, team-building activities executed, and even the company swag disseminated. Yet something's still off. You have all the ingredients, but the cake won't rise. What you're missing is your nonprofit internal storytelling. Viewing storytelling for external communications is easy, but internal storytelling is just as important.

The Stories Behind The Values

Culture is often framed as a collection of shared values, but the stories we tell internally breathe life into those values. Values without stories are just words. Bring those words to life with stories of team members who go the extra mile. That's your authentic company culture right there.

As Annette Simmons suggests, a "Who I Am" story can be compelling. It lets others know what you stand for. Look for "Who I Am" stories among your team members—stories where employees have gone beyond their job descriptions to embody one of the company's core values.

"Who I Am stories help listeners to trust that you and your message are what you say they are".

Annette Simmons

A Common Storyline Builds Trust

Unity is more than group photos for Instagram; it's part of a compelling narrative. In nonprofit internal storytelling, trust grows organically when your team sees themselves as characters in a collective mission. A well-told story can bridge that trust gap faster than any team-building game.

Annette Simmons's "Why I Am Here" stories align with this idea perfectly. Search for "Why I Am Here" stories focusing on the joint mission and vision that bonds the team.

"'Why I Am Here' stories illustrate that you share a common interest with your listeners".

Annette Simmons

Unleash Creative Forces with Narrative Thinking

Switch the lens: see challenges not as isolated incidents but as plot points in your organizational story.

By thinking narratively, you don't just solve problems—you unearth opportunities. It turns stumbling blocks into stepping stones, instilling a sense of collective empowerment. It's more than an attitude; it's a toolset that opens the door to innovation.

When you shift your perception of problems to viewing them as plot twists in your story, you open the door to innovative solutions. This concept resonates well with Simmons's "Vision" stories. Find "Vision" stories demonstrating how a setback led to a creative solution, aligning with the organization's broader goals.

'Vision' stories transport us to imagine a happy ending to the story we are living now".

Annette Simmons

Celebrate Your Staff

Celebrate the team members who've shown innovation and grit. The more these stories circulate within your nonprofit, the more they set the stage for how everyone else should act.

You're not merely spinning tales; you're weaving together the complex threads that make up your organization's culture, unity, and spirit of innovation.

Closing Thoughts

In the landscape of nonprofit internal storytelling, incorporating these types of stories transforms internal communications from a whimsical concept into a potent tool. This approach can improve your organization's culture, build trust among team members, and inspire a spirit of innovation from within.

Visit our nonprofit storytelling tips for additional ways to boost your engagement.

Tagged: Team Culture

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