A Client’s Perspective: Seven Tips for a Successful Storymap Project

At The Grove we see the importance of strong, thoughtful internal leadership when undertaking a Grove Storymap® process (1). We spoke to one of our recent clients to hear her perspective on how to make the process go smoothly and get a fulfilling result.


If your organization wants to align on its strategy and vision and is thinking about doing a Storymap process, here are seven tips to set your organization up for success:

1.  Engage a great team of people and a great outside partner who are interested in the project and motivated to move things forward. Involving the right people early lays the groundwork for a streamlined process and prevents time-consuming derailments and delays down the road.

2.  Ensure that the person driving the process has a clear vision for the project. Otherwise, a plethora of opinions can easily pull you in so many different directions that you end up with something without a strong design quality to it. read more…

Escaping the Despondent Pit of Techno-Despair


Have you ever been in the Despondent Pit of Techno-Despair?

You know what I’m talking about if you’ve been there. You’ve been trying to get some type of technology to work, usually in front of other people. It probably worked yesterday, or even earlier today when you tested it by yourself, but the controls are now mysteriously incomprehensible and you’d swear they look different from how they did just an hour ago.

Possibly a lot of people are waiting to do some very important work supported by the technology you’re fooling with. Time stretches and warps in a weird way, and it feels as though everyone else is holding their breath and staring at you with saucer-sized eyes. You start to feel that you are at the bottom of a giant black hole.

Yeah… welcome to the Pit. read more…

Role Mapping for Team Clarity


Do you know, I mean really know, what your teammates do? Do you know how they produce information they give to you and what they do with information you give to them? Do you understand their roles to the point where you could fill in for them for a day?

The better you and your teammates understand each other’s roles, the more effective the team will be overall. Points of intersection, where people’s work either overlaps or provides inputs to other team members’ work, are where the team will feel the greatest impacts from clarifying roles.

Map Your Team’s Roles

Mapping the intersections of roles will give your team clearer insight into how to work together more effectively. The following is a process that I have found useful for this.

read more…

Art, Community and Culture: SF Museum of Modern Art’s Public Dialogue Workshops


The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is undergoing a substantial expansion that will more than double its exhibition space (1). While closed for construction, its Public Dialogue Department is engaging with the Bay Area arts community as a “Museum-on-the-Go.”

Recently the department convened four day-long Public Dialogue workshops with local thinkers, artists, designers, and others working to nurture community arts and culture. This was an opportunity for reflection about the issues that impact Bay Area visual artists.

The department requested The Grove’s graphic-recording services to support discussions in each of the four workshops and weave together their inputs into a coherent synthesis. Senior Consultant Giselle Chow was The Grove’s project lead, teaming with Senior Associate Paula Hansen to record four days of rich conversation.

read more…

Taming the Virtual Collaboration Challenge: Tell Us What You Think


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!
read more…