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.

grove-storymap-model

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.

3.  Be clear about the business case. Pull together a business case that simply and clearly articulates why the project will add value. That way, if you are challenged about why this project is worth doing, you can address any concerns and bring people around with your passion for the project and your vision for how it will benefit the organization.

4.  Seek out strong sponsors. Having the sponsorship of senior leaders makes all the difference in guiding such an initiative smoothly through the organization. It takes tenacity to pull off a large, organizationally significant project such as this. It helps if someone with gravitas is an internal sponsor, both to get the backing of other people and to help hold the process and move it forward.

5.  Interactive is the way to go. For most companies, being able to key in on a portion of the map and click to get detailed explanatory text will make the storymap a more robust learning tool, adding valuable context.

6.  Work on the image and the “click-through” content simultaneously if you do intend to make an interactive image. Starting to pull together additional supportive content from staff while the Storymap image is still in development will shorten the length of the project. Although you will need to make changes and edits to the content as you go, getting the process started sooner rather than later will build the project’s momentum and heighten the quality of the final version.

7.  Stay focused when receiving many responses and opinions. When lots of people are involved in a design, wide-ranging and divergent points of view will be a factor. It can be challenging to find consensus on the right message, the right metaphor, and the right tone for the map. Keep the focus on what matters most, and prioritize the inputs that have broad resonance to move the process forward. 

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NOTES

1.  A Storymap is “a panoramic visual history, context map, strategy map, vision, or roadmap created to help leaders and managers tell consistent, compelling stories that sustain aligned action.” (from the Grove Glossary)

2.  For more information about The Grove’s storymapping services, please download the Storymapping brochure, browse Storymapping case studies here and here, or visit the Services – Organization Change page on our website.

To discuss your organization’s needs and how we may be able to help, email services@grove.com, or call 1.415.561.2500, ext. 2.