Welcome to the Product Habits Workshop: “Influence, storytelling and story-mapping”

Welcome to the Product Habits Workshop: “Influence, storytelling and story-mapping”
April 20-21, 2016 | San Francisco


Thank you for registering! We look forward to seeing you next week! In the meantime here’s some information to help you plan your trip.

We will continue to email you as more information becomes available but you can also check this page for updates.

– Last updated on 4/18/16 at 8:49AM PDT

Workshop Packet

Click here to download.

Recommended Attire

Smart casual/business casual: Keep in mind you’re in “workshop” environment all day and you will be up and moving around. If you plan to attend the meetup on Thursday, you might take into consideration that the venue is an 11 minute walk from MBCC.

Date and Location

Wednesday, April 20 – Thursday, April 21, 2016
Day 1: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm (Cocktail following session)
Day 2: Thursday, April 21, 2016 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm  (Meetup following the session)

Mission Bay Conference Center
1675 Owens St
San Francisco, CA 94158

You may choose from the Google Calendar Event or the .ics Calendar File provided for each day:

Day 1: Wed, April 20

Day 2: Thurs, April 21

Day 2, Meetup: Thurs, April 21


Getting to MBCC:

MBCC_WilliamJRutterCenterGetting there via cab: Tell the cab driver the street address – 1675 Owens – and if you need to be more explicit, ask for “UCSF Mission Bay” or “Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF.”

If you’re driving, park in the Alexandria Garage (in the red rectangle) since it is the cheapest day rate. The Alexandria Garage closes at 6:30 pm but people who entered the garage earlier than 6:30 pm can leave since their ticket allows them to exit.


Getting there on BART: Take the BART to the “16th Street Mission” station. From this point, pick up the Red Line UCSF shuttle in front of the Burger King on the northeast corner of the intersection. The shuttle runs every 15 minutes. The second stop is the conference center (William J. Rutter Center/Mission Bay Conference Center). The shuttle starts at 6:02am and the last run is at 7:52pm.

Getting there on Muni: The T-Third Metro Line picks up at the 4th and King Street Caltrain Station, as well as the Embarcadero BART station. Get off at the UCSF Mission Bay Station on 3rd Street, across from the campus.

Once you enter, go down the long blue hallway.


Then when you arrive in the atrium, just beyond the giant statues is a grayish wall, where our registration table will be (see arrow).


Wednesday, April 20, 2016: Workshop (8:00am – 6:00pm)

  • Breakfast & Registration
  • Morning session: Storytelling to Influence
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon session: Attendees will join the Councils* General Session, including a keynote given by Cathy Salit (*Detailed description below)
  • Cross-Council/Workshop Cocktails (4:30pm – 6:00pm)

Thursday, April 21, 2016: Workshop (8am – 5pm)

  • Breakfast
  • Morning session: Story-mapping
  • Afternoon session: Moderated discussion led by Phil Terry, followed by deep dive breakouts on either Storytelling or Story-mapping (guidance on track selection provided during discussion)
  • Meetup: join your fellow PMs for a drink to discuss learnings and exchange contact info (5:30-7:00pm)



Recommended Accommodations

Grand Hyatt San Francisco
345 Stockton Street
San Francisco, California, 94108
(415) 398-1234

W San Francisco Hotel
181 3rd Street
San Francisco, CA, 94103
(888) 627-8391

Courtyard San Francisco Downtown
299 2nd Street
San Francisco, California 94105
(415) 947-0700

Airbnb, a Council member company, has graciously offered an Airbnb coupon for lodging in San Francisco. Click here, if you’d like to take them up on that.
Please note, this code is only valid for new users.

Workshop Details

Session Descriptions

The workshop will focus on Storytelling (and how it’s an effective leadership tool) and Story-Mapping, as well as leadership session with a keynote given by Cathy Salit. Session descriptions below.

Session 1 – Storytelling to Influence

What is story, and why does it work so well in engaging audiences and fostering understanding?

Led by Thaler Pekar, communications and narrative expert and CEO of Thaler Pekar & Partners, this segment discusses why the ability to identify, elicit, and share stories is the pressing requirement of modern leadership. Many leaders, however, are confounded by what makes a good story, and how and when to ask for, or share one. In this fast-paced, highly interactive program, you will explore how to find, develop, and share stories so as to deepen your engagement with both customers and colleagues.

Story: What it is, Why it Matters, & How to Use it with Clients & Colleagues defines story and why it matters to your customers–and to your career. You’ll experience how stories, unlike messages, invite conversation.

Session 2 – The Councils General Session, including a leadership keynote by Cathy Salit

Join the Councils General Session with leaders from companies such as Apple, Charles Schwab, Warby Parker and Dropbox. Cathy Salit will lead an interactive session based on her New York Times bestseller and the work Performance of a Lifetime has done to help companies like Twitter and American Express use the art of storytelling to build great products.

PERFORMANCE BREAKTHROUGH: Culture, Creativity, and the Competitive Edge – An Interactive Keynote

Whether you’re a new product manager or have been a chief product officer for some time, performance is critical to your success. Cathy Salit uses that word in a particular way. She literally means performance. The good news, Cathy Salit says, is that even though you might not have been onstage since you played a tree in third grade, you — and all humans — have an innate ability to perform, pretend, improvise, and tell stories. Tapping into this ability is key to learning and growing in new, exciting and profound ways.

Session 4 – Moderated Discussion and Deep Dive: the Connection between Storytelling and Story-mapping

Moderated by Jana Eggers, CEO of Nara Logics, this segment explores why having a strong narrative is important for story-mapping through a moderated discussion between Jeff and Thaler. They will examine what each has learned from the other and how it relates. Most importantly, it will illustrate the disconnect that occurs between not knowing a customer and therefore not being able to tell their story and why it ultimately leads to failure, or a map with no story.

After the discussion, you will take one of two tracks, either a deep dive into “How to further develop your customer story” or a deep dive into Story-mapping and how it can be used in your current work.

“I really loved it. It was interactive and there were tangible takeaways I could use for my day to day job.”

—Lauren Antonelli, Director of Product, Evite

Thaler Pekar is a leading voice in persuasive communication, leadership and multichannel storytelling, and organizational narrative. As an internationally sought-after strategist, speaker, and coach, Thaler directs entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 leaders, and philanthropists in breaking through a crowded marketplace and engaging audiences, increasing sales and income, and heightening visibility and influence.

Thaler is a visiting professor at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School Executive Masters in Communications Management. She is a Founding Member of the American College of Women’s Health Physicians. Thaler has studied at the Columbia University Medical Center Program in Narrative Medicine.

Thaler is a long-time resident of Hoboken, NJ, and a more recent resident of Unadilla, NY. Thaler always crosses the street to walk on the sunny side. And she has a cat named Truthiness.

JeffP_bwJeff Patton is the glue that connects good product management and strategy, lean user experience and agile delivery practices together. He has authored numerous articles, essays and, most recently, a book, “User Story Mapping.” An independent consultant with a unique teaching and speaking style, he uses hand-drawings and engaging storytelling to share his passion for product design.

Jeff has a long, involved history in product design. He has designed and developed software for the past 20 years on a wide variety of projects from online aircraft part ordering to electronic medical records. Jeff has focused on Agile approaches since working on an early Extreme Programming team in 2000. In particular, he has specialized in the application of user-centered design techniques to improve Agile requirements, planning, and products.

He lives in Park City, Utah where he snowboards, hikes and “tries” to keep up with his wife and two daughters.

“Working with Jeff is amazing. Jeff is doing the most innovative work I know of around release planning, agile interaction design, and putting requirements into context."

—Julias Shaw, Sr Software Engineer at mobi

cathy-salit-bodyCathy Salit began her career as an upstart and risk-taker at the age of 13, when she dropped out of eighth grade and started an alternative school in an abandoned storefront in New York City. This unusual endeavor put Cathy on an uncharted life path, and she has dedicated her life to creating educational environments that challenge the status quo and offer innovative, high-impact learning and development experiences.

She co-founded Performance of a Lifetime (POAL), a consulting firm that helps leaders, teams, and organizations to grow their business by focusing on the human side of strategy. Using the art and science of performance, POAL helps leaders close the gap between the current reality and their desired future. POAL’s team of coaches and human development experts leverage their proprietary method, The Becoming Principle™, to engage leaders and companies in creating and acting on new and uncharted possibilities. As CEO, Cathy works with leaders and teams at companies such as American Express, Nike, Coca-Cola, Rolls Royce, The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Cathy is the author of Performance Breakthrough: A Radical Approach to Success at Work (Hachette Books, on sale April 12, 2016), in which she presents her revolutionary approach to learning and growing. She is also an artistic associate at the award-winning Castillo Theatre in New York City, where she performs regularly with the musical improv comedy troupe the Proverbial Loons. Less frequently, she sings jazz and R&B on any stage she can find…or create.

Collaborative Gain is a community of senior leaders—peers across a range of industries—who help each other lead innovation and customer-centric change.

Our primary service is the Collaborative Gain Councils founded by Phil Terry in 2002, then CEO of Creative Good, with other Internet pioneers like Marissa Mayer, then of Google, Elizabeth Peaslee, then head of product for Travelocity, and others.

Each council has 12-15 non-competing peers (i.e. Chief Product Officers and others) who make a commitment to helping their fellow members learn from their own mistakes and successes. Members come not to learn from third-party experts or consultants but from each other – smart, operating executives making key decisions everyday.