For Organizations 2017-02-09T09:09:23+00:00


Making Better Choices and Decisions

An ecosystem map is a tool we’ve developed to help you make better decisions. As the world around you becomes more complex and the pace of change accelerates, making sound decisions is becoming increasingly more complicated. Our process is designed to help you and your organization construct a flexible, dynamic, and visual representation of your environment that can be used as a “canvas” for strategic decision-making.

Unlike static stakeholder profiles, community asset maps, or environmental scans, we have developed a tool that will allow you to envision the cascading impact of various situations and scenarios on the environment in which you and your stakeholders operate.

We often describe our ecosystem mapping process as the creation of a multi-dimensional strategy canvas where you and your organization can think and plan strategically in ways that maximize your impact.

We’ve completed Ecosystem Maps for a number of clients, including:

  • The National 4-H Council (NGO)
  • The D.C. Department of Public Works (Government)
  • Northwestern Energy (Private Sector)

To learn more you can read about some of our past work, download a brochure, or contact us.



A vision is where you want to go. A road map is your plan for how you intend to get there.

All great achievements begin with a vision of a compelling destination. But vision, alone, is not enough. Great achievements require steady and strategic action. The Symphonic Road Mapping Workshop is a fun, interactive, and disciplined process to help you identify how to bring about the future vision you desire. It borrows easily recognizable language from the metaphor of a journey guided by a comprehensive map of the terrain and the route required to reach a destination.

Road Mapping allows individuals, teams, and even coalitions of multiple stakeholder groups to come together to think and to plan strategically for action. It is a form of applied foresight where our facilitators guide you through a process where you can anticipate the obstacles and challenges standing in the way of reaching your goal, objective, or destination.

We’ve completed Road Maps for a number of clients, including:

  • The D.C. Alliance of Youth Advocates (NGO)
  • The Food Allergy Research and Education Network (NGO)
  • The D.C. Department of Corrections (Government)
  • The Corrections Information Council (NGO)

To learn more you can read about some of our past work, download a brochure, or contact us.


Future Search™ is a collective action methodology designed and developed by Sandra Janoff and Marvin Weisboard, co-directors of the Future Search Network—a network comprised of professionally trained facilitators in more than 21 countries. The Future Search methodology has been used successfully by thousands of groups and communities around the world for more than 40 years. It is based on more than six decades of research and experimentation in collective action, as well as in the fields of organization and community development.

The power of the Future Search methodology and process is that it creates an environment where new relationships can be formed, old assumptions can be tested, and new pathways to the future can be planned. There are four principles at its core. First, it requires getting the “entire” system in conversation. Second, issues are framed in a global perspective. Third, there is a passionate pursuit of common ground and desirable future states. Fourth, participants are asked to make commitments to act.

A Future Search requires four half-day sessions over a three-day period of time. The process can and has been used by countries, by communities, and by organizations in the private, public, and civil sectors. We have implemented Future Search sessions for government agencies, for urban communities, and for members of non-governmental organizations. You can read about some of our work here.

To learn more about the Future Search process and concept, download a one-pager written by Sandra and Marvin or read some of the case studies of success stories.

We’ve completed Future Searches for a number of clients, including:

  • The D.C. Department of Aging (Government)
  • City of Tuskegee, Alabama (Government)

To learn more you can read about some of our past work or contact us.


What is a Design Lab?

A design lab is part of the broader approach we use that is called design thinking—a methodology that embraces a creative search for an improved or more ideal solution to a given process or problem. It is an approach used by a number of leading organizations in the public and private sectors, such as Stanford University, Google, GE Healthcare, Procter & Gamble, and Philips Electronics.

Our design labs incorporate many of the core elements of the design thinking methodology, including:

  • A systems view of the environment. We are interested in helping you understand the structure that shapes the attitudes and behaviors of key individuals, groups, and organizations in your environment.
  • A deep dive into the perspective of your target, be that your customers, your partners, or key members of your own team.
  • Multiple phases of discovery—starting with inspiration and moving from there to ideation and implementation.

The Experience

There are a number of things that make the Symphonic Design Lab process different and better than traditional team retreats and planning meetings.

Users tell us that our Design Labs are:

  • More fun because they are interactive, innovative, and force participants to think differently.
  • More focused because they systematically help you exclude things that are less important and highlight things that are important.
  • More strategic because they never stray from the pursuit of the ideal and they align every decision to that ideal.

We’ve completed design labs for a number of clients, including:

  • Grameen America (NGO)
  • The National 4-H Council (Government)

To learn more you can read about some of our past work, download a brochure, or contact us.


We’ve learned that when it comes to collective action, there are always a few things that seem to get in the way. Damaged relationships, bad decisions, a toxic culture, or confusion about the destination are all common challenges that often go unnoticed and unresolved. When they do, they can derail collective efforts.

Figuring out how to address these challenges on your own is difficult. Our job is to help you anticipate these challenges and resolve them before they spiral out of control. With a little help, you don’t have to be surprised, unprepared, or overwhelmed.

Symphonic Playbooks™ contain tactics and strategies (“plays”) that, when implemented in order, are designed to help you address these situations faster and more strategically. Our Playbooks offer you practical and proven strategies designed to systematically create an environment that brings out your best.