Cultivate Collaboration: Join The Global Learning & Exchange Network (GLEN)

For more than 40 years, The Grove Consultants International has pioneered and supported a worldwide wave of interest in visual learning and facilitation. Now The Grove has launched The Global Learning & Exchange Network (GLEN), a network of process consultants, facilitators, team leaders, change practitioners, organizational leaders and more. Its mission is to increase people’s ability to collaborate across organizations and cultures by providing a learning community dedicated to inquiry, insight, and collective action.


Exploring Unknown Territories

At the heart of The GLEN is a synergistic learning community. It develops through Exchanges (face-to-face and online gatherings) and Collaborations (small-group projects) on topics such as design thinking, neuroscience, visual facilitation, collective wisdom, sustainable food systems, and leading change.

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The Book Sprint: Visual Practitioners Around the World Come Together to Write and Learn

More than 50 authors joined in a three-day global book sprint to create The Visual Facilitation Field Guide, a project launched by Jeroen Blijsie in The Netherlands. The book’s co-editors are Jeroen, Tim Hamons in Singapore, and Rachel Smith in the United States. The authors represent a broad spectrum of the field of visual practice. Their goal: to write a book that raises the profile of these methods and makes them accessible for both practitioners and clients.

Contributors worked around the world (and some around the clock) in The Netherlands, Singapore, and San Francisco, with authors in other locations connecting virtually. The North American contingent gathered at The Grove in San Francisco. The Grove’s Laurie Durnell, Tiffany Forner, Malgosia Kostecka, David Sibbet and Rachel Smith participated, with Rachel facilitating the North American portion of the sprint.

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Three Ways to Refresh Your Strategy for the New Year


What can you do to get your team in sync for 2018? When people get lost in the details of week-to-week implementation, it is easy for them to get disconnected from the big-picture strategy. Early in the new year is a natural time to reconnect, review, and renew. Here are three ways to focus your organization or team and develop strategic insight for the coming months.


Option One: A “Bridge to the New Year” Session

Time Involved: 2–3 hours

Bring the new year into focus with a visual planning template (see sample above and instructions for drawing below.) Use this process when you want to facilitate a single focused session to envision the year ahead and get everyone aligned on action.

This approach is better suited for a team or a project than for a whole organization. It is particularly useful when the scope of your endeavor is not overly complex. Although it does not allow for a deep dive into strategy, it can put the focus on the most important priorities to move forward.

How to Draw a Template: For a co-located team, draw on a whiteboard or big paper. For a remote team, sketch the template and fill it in using a tablet. Start by drawing a bridge image in the middle to signify the transition to the new year.  read more…

“Hit the Beach”: VMware’s Storymap Opens Up Internal and External Communication

Recently The Grove worked with VMware to develop a Grove Storymap® about its digital workspace product, Workspace ONE.

The Digital Workspace Communication Challenge

VMware developed an amazing product but was running into some communication obstacles. As Kevin Strohmeyer, senior director of Solutions Product Marketing, describes, “We had been talking about the digital workspace both internally and in the marketplace for 18 months, but there was little consistency. More importantly, we were asking our customers to make transformational changes to move to a digital workspace, but while we could describe problems and solutions, we couldn’t consistently describe the journey without jumping to technology challenges.”

What is digital workspace? As VMware defines it: “Digital workspace provides the necessary infrastructure to securely deliver the apps and data employees need across any device, whenever and wherever they choose to work.” In layman’s terms, one can be at work, home, the ballpark or anywhere with any device (cellphone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer, etc.), and gain access to every app and data necessary to do one’s job. No matter what device one chooses, you just log in and voilà, you have what you need. And here’s the kicker—it is all secure.

The Beach Scene Takes Shape

To facilitate alignment in Workspace ONE communications and messaging, VMware asked The Grove to lead a Storymapping process. read more…