Evolving, Adapting, and Growing Our Practice: An interview with Erin Gordon


We recently caught up with Erin Gordon, who will be leading the upcoming Digital Graphic Recording Intensive. She talked about her professional journey in visual practice and shared helpful tips for those starting out.


How did you get into this field?

I was a consultant—on paper—for the majority of my early career. I enjoyed the partnering piece of my projects but quickly learned advising didn’t work. My curiosity led me to other ways and methods to best be a thought partner with my clients, which led me to facilitation. I grew into data visualization and analytics and started training others. I particularly loved helping folks visualize their ideas and concepts. 

While consulting with the U.S. General Services Administration, I stumbled upon graphic recording by another consultant, Trent Wakenight, and was intrigued. He encouraged me to “help out” with a recording on a wall, but I thought the paper and markers thing was pretty cumbersome. I ended up taking a class in graphic facilitation with Deirdre Crowley and started working with a Surface Pro and stylus. It was love. 

Speed up to 2021. I now work as a graphic facilitator and recorder with an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. I keep a Surface Book close by as my backup.

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Emerging Trends for the “New Normal” of Retention & Succession Management in 2021


Many leaders are striving to anticipate what the “new normal” will look like in 2021. We are seeing some emerging trends and predict that the health and safety, political, racial, environmental, and economic dynamics of 2020 will lead to some talent, retention, and succession issues that leaders must plan for in 2021 and beyond. COVID-19 has accelerated the need for a renewed focus on talent retention and succession, as turnover will most certainly increase in the year ahead. Top talent will be making their next career decisions with a new set of considerations in mind.  


The Talent Challenge

With the onset of the pandemic, people tended to “stay put” and were less open to changing jobs as layoffs became a reality and job security a priority. This led to pent-up demand in the job market. In addition, as the shift to virtual work became the accepted norm, the potential to work from anywhere (i.e., closer to family, in more desirable locations, etc.) is now more than an aspiration.  

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Grove 2021 Calendar – An Exercise in Democracy


In November of 2020, The Grove put out a call in our community to submit artwork that answered the question,“What does democracy mean to you?” We knew this may be a complex question to answer, and we were hoping for a variety of responses. What we received was a wonderful array of interpretations from around the globe. We’d like to thank our contributors for helping us ring in the new year with creativity, community, and a thoughtful appreciation of democracy.

Please enjoy this free calendar from The Grove and its artful collaborators. Happy 2021!

Download The Grove’s 2021, 8.5″ x 11″ printable calendar.

A Virtual Holiday Party Idea

Need an idea for the virtual office party? Do a virtual gift certificate exchange using a digital whiteboard like Mural. It’s a nice way to keep the holiday party vibe alive and support some smaller retailers at the same time. Below are some basic instructions for setting up the game. The idea is very similar to a white elephant gift exchange. Look up the basic rules for a white elephant if you are unfamiliar. When the party commences, the game “facilitator” will need to set up an order for the gift opening/stealing. Perhaps post names in the web conference “chat” in the order that folks arrive at the party. Then, let the gift opening and stealing begin, marking gifts that have been claimed with a sticky note. In case you are curious, The Grove allows a gift to be stolen twice, then it is locked! Happy Holidays!

A Call for Grove Calendar Artwork


Each January The Grove offers a free, downloadable calendar to our mailing list and social-media followers. For our 2021 calendar we are opening up the artwork creation to anyone in our community. We’re looking for graphic recordings, drawings, cartoons, paintings or collages. 

Original artwork should answer the question, “What does democracy mean to you?” 

Responses to this question may come easily or may be more complex. We look forward to a variety of perspectives, including those from our international community. We don’t want this to be about political parties or political candidates. We consider democracy to be a larger concept.

The Grove believes in democratic processes in our work and as such, our staff will democratically choose twelve entries to place in our calendar.


Submission guidelines

  • Artwork files should be no more than 5 MB. JPEG, PNG or PDF files are fine.
  • Email artwork to submissions@thegrove.com.
  • Deadline: Send in submissions any time before Dec. 11th, 2020.
  • Landscape format. Artwork will be placed in a layout with an image area of roughly 6.5” wide x 4” high. We encourage artwork that fits nicely in those dimensions.
  • Please include your name and where you live in the text of your submission email, so we can attribute your artwork.

We can’t wait to see what you come up with!