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E41: How Storyboarding Helps With Scaling Impact

by Sean Boyce

How can storyboarding help your organization with scaling impact?

What I talk about in this episode:
  • What storyboarding is all about
  • The purpose of storyboarding
  • Why you need to know this level of detail
  • How to get started at your organization
  • When you’ll know you’ve found an opportunity
If you’d like to learn how to scale impact at your nonprofit by more than double in less than half the time, sign up for my free 5 day email course (

Episode Transcript

Hey Everyone, Sean here and today, what I want to talk to you more about is a concept called storyboarding and why it’s so important to do well, in order to give your organization the best opportunity to scale impact. 

Now the concept of storyboarding, for me comes up when I’m thinking about a topic related to what’s called jobs theory, which is another concept you can use. That is helpful for figuring out how to leverage products and particular software products. In order to scale impact. Jobs theory focuses on this concept of better understanding what job the person that you’re trying to help is trying to solve, in order for their problem to be resolved. Now storyboarding plays an important element in leveraging jobs theory to achieve success by using different types of products. And that product can be virtual. It can be software and technology in this case, as as is often a lot of the work that I do to help nonprofit organizations with scaling impact. And storyboarding is a concept of really getting to understand that person very well, and what’s going on in their life, to better understand anything that might be standing in the way of them leveraging a new product or a solution in order to help solve their problem, which should be related to the impact that your organization is trying to drive. 

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Storyboarding is a concept is really figuring out everything that’s going on in said individual’s life, so that you have a better understanding and what might be standing in their way of leveraging certain solutions. And you can also figure out where there are genuine opportunities for you to take advantage of by helping them in a way that they may not be actively searching for a solution themselves. Some of those instances they have problems where they don’t have solutions. Other instances they have problems where they do have solutions, but those solutions are falling short. And you need to know as much as you can about this in order to figure out how to best help them and how to scale impact. So storyboarding is concept of figuring out how to be able to tell from start to finish, everything that’s going on in the individual’s life that you need to know in order to figure out what they’re doing before, during and after. When they’re experiencing whatever problem is you’re intending to help them solve. That’s because there might be something standing in the way of them ultimately leveraging a solution you may want to provide. And if you don’t have that context, they’ll be prevented from being able to leverage your solution and benefit from the value you’re trying to provide for them. 

I’ll give you an example. If you’d like to provide some form of tech solution to let’s say, some of your nonprofit program clients, and it’s only available on a workstation or a laptop or a desktop computer. But your nonprofit clients don’t have access to a desktop or a laptop computer they’re never going to be able to use your solution. So that’s a barrier to them to be able to leverage your product and get the value out of it. Regardless of how well it might ultimately solve their problem. If they can’t access it, then that’s going to prevent them from being able to use it. That’s why in a lot of work that we do, were quite a bit of our nonprofit program clients that don’t have access to workstations. We leverage mobile solutions because many of them do have access to cell phones or smartphone technology. As such, we can make products work on that platform. To be able to ensure that more of our clients are able to access that as a digital solution. So this is something that would come up if you were performing storyboarding, where you’re asking them all these questions about what they’re doing before, during and after, whenever they’re experiencing a certain problem. So that you know everything you need to know about what type of experience that you’re trying to create for them. And that word experience is very important when leveraged in this context, because it’s thought of as something that’s comprehensive, right? And it’s all encompassing. It’s not just a product that I flip on like a switch and I use for a period of time and then you flip it off. That might be how your nonprofit program client ultimately uses your product. But what happens before that and after that is very important. And storyboarding helps you capture that. 

So I want you to dive a little bit deeper into this as a concept and learn it really well because it’s going to be very important for figuring out how to scale impact if you only have a piece of the story, then you may be missing a lot of context, which is going to prevent you from having the success that you want and being able to reach the kind of scale and impact that’s going to be important for your organization to be successful in helping your clients or your team or whomever it is you’d like to help with what you’re trying to solve.