We have heard from many of our clients about the frustrations they experience when working with people who are not co-located. In response, we are developing new resources for working virtually—especially for managers, team leaders, and facilitators who need to help groups complete complex collaborative projects at a distance.

As a central part of this offering, Rachel Smith, The Grove’s director of digital facilitation services, is preparing to write a book on virtual collaboration. It will include interviews with master facilitators who are working with distributed teams, using best practices and tools that you can apply in your own virtual work environments. Supported by digital resources, the book will be full of ideas about how to bridge the gap and make collaborators feel that they are working together in the same physical space, even when they are not.

You don’t have to wait until the book is released, though!

Here are three ways you can get involved:

1.  What Are Your Virtual Collaboration Challenges? Take the Survey

We invite you to take our five-minute survey on virtual collaborative work. We want to know about your experience and opinions, and we especially want to hear about your pain points.

2. Invite Rachel to “Listen In”, Then Debrief Your Meeting

Invite Rachel to be a ‘fly on the wall’ in your next virtual meeting. In exchange for allowing her to listen in and take notes, Rachel will hold a follow-up call with you and give you one tip or tool to make your next meeting even better. Then she’ll follow up again once you’ve used it to find out how it worked. For more information, email Rachel at with details about the meeting you have in mind: date and time, topic, and desired outcomes.  (apply by June 30)

3.  Learning Opportunity with Rachel (Limited Availability)


If that’s not enough involvement for you, why not have Rachel facilitate a virtual meeting for your team—for free! She is offering a limited number of one-hour engagements between now and the end of July. If your meeting is selected, she will (1) meet with you virtually to plan the agenda, (2) facilitate the meeting for you, and (3) hold a 30-minute debrief call afterward. In exchange, you and the meeting participants will be asked to complete a questionnaire about how you work virtually, and you may be asked to try a new tool or technique during the meeting if this will facilitate your work. To apply for this special opportunity, complete the form here(apply by June 12)

Future Focus

With your input, we will create the definitive guide and tool set for facilitating remote collaborative work, incorporating The Grove’s powerful visual tools and methods. Stay tuned; more information to follow in the coming months!


New Virtual Collaboration Workshop Offered Online: Attend the Facilitating Virtual Collaboration workshop with Rachel Smith in four online sessions, each an hour and a half, during a two-week period in September. This seminar-style workshop will prepare you to facilitate successful collaborative work at a distance.

Join the conversation in The Grove’s Facebook group. Our consultants are hosting an ongoing discussion about virtual and visual facilitation. We would love to hear your voice in the mix.