#Visualising Interflora’s #strategy, developing an aerospace #explainer #animation and #graphicrecording an NHS event: all in a weeks work for www.crackerjackvisualthinking.com

Using visual thinking approaches to share complex information is increasingly recognised as an really effective element of organisational engagement initiatives across many sectors. The last week has proved this!

I’ve been working at an event to visualise Interflora’s strategy, created a whiteboard style explainer video for a major aerospace organisation and graphic recorded at an NHS Neuro-Rehabilitation workshop (take a look at my Twitter feed @johnashtonuk to read some of the feedback about this).

Neuro Rehab Graphic Recording
Graphic recording created live at NHS Neuro-Rehabilition event

In all cases, visual thinking approaches have helped to turn ideas and thoughts into tangible visual reality across this broad range of organisations.

To find more about how Crackerjack can help you engage your people through visual thinking approaches, please Contact Us.

All the best,


John Ashton – Director

#Engage people, increase #understanding and improve #communication by embedding #visualthinking into the way your #organisation works

If a picture speaks a thousand words, just imagine how enabling your people to think visually can help improve communication and creativity in your organisation!

Helping your people to communicate more effectively and share ideas more easily can be a key method of increasing creativity and productivity in your organisation. Put simply, the quicker your people can generate great ideas and share them with others, the quicker these ideas can be turned into (profitable) reality.

Developing your people’s visual thinking skills…

Providing your people with the skills to enable them to share their thinking visually using drawings and sketches can supercharge this ability in your organisation. A single picture could replace a multi-page report or a bullet-pointed multi-page slide show. 10 minutes around a whiteboard could develop a new product idea or find a way to save time in your production process.

Interflora 9th Nov 17

Our Scribble Labs provide you with options for developing these visual thinking skills. We offer a range of workshops ranging from simply developing drawings skills through to helping people facilitate meetings using visual approaches.

Visual thinking support when your organisation needs it…

In addition to developing the visual thinking skills of your people, it can be helpful to call in additional visual thinking support to facilitate creative collaboration and visualisation of more complex ideas. This leaves your people free to get involved in the ideation and productive discussions that visually facilitated meetings can generate.

Header Nov 2017 v2

Crackerjack offers visual collaboration support for meetings along with a number of approaches to visualising ideas.

Embedding visual thinking into your organisation…

Developing the visual thinking skills of your people alongside calling in visual thinking support when you need it will allow visual thinking approaches to begin to permeate your organisation. The more people experience the visual way of working, the more they will engage with it and begin to see it as ‘the way we share ideas around here’.

Crackerjack can work with you to embed visual thinking into your organisation. In addition to the approaches detailed above, we can also help to embed visual approaches into areas such as learning and development interventions and induction programmes.

To find our more about how Crackerjack can help you embed visual thinking into your organisation, please CONTACT US.

In addition, please take a look at our 1 minute guide below to find the right visual thinking approach for your needs and use the menu above to explore the different visual thinking approaches available from Crackerjack.

1 minute animated guide to finding the right #visualthinking approach for your organisations #learning, #engagement, #collaboration and #communication needs

Crackerjack Visual Thinking helps people think, learn and collaborate more effectively using a range of visual thinking approaches that engage people, increase understanding and improve communication.

Take a look at our 1 minute guide below to find the right visual thinking approach for your needs and then contact us and visit www.crackerjackvisualthinking.com to discuss your specific requirements in more detail.

Great day helping the #Interflora leadership team #develop their #visualthinking skills!

I spent yesterday running a Scribble Lab session with the Interflora senior leadership team helping them being to develop their visual thinking skills – in particular their drawing and graphic recording techniques.

Interflora 9th Nov 17

It was great to see the team really engage with the workshop and commit to using the tools and techniques learnt during the Scribble Lab session to help visualise, explore, clarify and communicate both their own and their teams thinking.

To find out more about how Crackerjack Visual Thinking can help you, please CONTACT US.


John Ashton
Crackerjack Visual Thinking

Crackerjack Visual Thinking to develop the #visualthinking skills of the #Interflora senior leadership team

I’m pleased to share with you that Crackerjack Visual Thinking will be working with the Interflora senior leadership team (SLT) in November to help them develop their visual thinking skill set.

HoF 25th May 2016 Scribble Lab Pic 1 SMALL

We’ll be focussing on helping them develop both confidence and technique in drawing and also capturing information visually in a live environment.

The goal will be to enable the SLT to begin using these approaches in their own meetings to drive better conversations and enable ideas to be explored and captured more effectively.

If you and your colleagues would also benefit from developing these visual thinking skills, please do CONTACT US.

John Ashton
Director – Crackerjack Visual Thinking

Variety is the spice of [#visualthinking] life! #communicate #think #engage

It’s been a bit quiet here on the blog over the last few weeks as we’ve been working on a variety of new projects. Variety is definitely the right word as over the last couple of weeks we’ve been involved in:

  • Developing a hand-drawn animation to help people better understand the UK Power Network

    Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 10.21.38

  • Helping to capture how care services can be better designed for those with dementia and other cognitive conditions


  • Developing a hand-drawn animation to raise awareness of health and safety across a large multi-national aerospace organisation…
  • Developing a rich of picture of how a ‘Model Hospital‘ operates…
  • Working with a senior team to visualise what a great place to work looks like…


This variety demonstrates how visual thinking approaches can successfully help all types of organisations to have better conversations and share ideas and information more effectively.

To discuss how visual thinking could help your organisation, please CONTACT US

My #graphicrecording nearly made someone cry!!! #engage #communicate www.crackerjackvisualthinking.com

Last week, as part of an event I was supporting, I was lucky enough to graphic record in real-time the inspirational career journey of a champion of diversity and equity in the NHS, Yvonne Coghill OBE.

Her story was thought provoking and clearly highlighted how people can champion and enable diversity and equity for all. Clearly people were moved, challenged and energised by the story of her career journey.

Afterwards, Yvonne came and had a look at the graphic recording I had created of her journey. Her response was one of amazement as she was able to review her career journey visually for the first time. She said she found it very emotional to see her journey mapped out on paper and almost felt like crying (in a good way I hasten to add!). She was also kind enough to Tweet about it after the event.



She liked the graphic recording of her journey so much that she wants to use it in future presentations that she gives about her work and journey.

For me, this once again highlighted the power of visualising information and the effect this can have on individuals (and in turn teams and organisations). Engagement is the shared goal of virtually all organisations and therefore I would encourage everyone to think about how visualising information in a way that stimulates and connects with people can help them in this goal.

To explore how visual thinking can you engage the people in your organisation, please feel free to call 0775 282 6227 or contact us.

John Ashton
Crackerjack Visual Thinking

How visualising the outputs from focus groups is good for the organisation and good for the participants #focusgroup #marketing #insights

Focus groups continue to be a valuable source of insight for organisations wanting to learn deeper insights into their past, present and future customers needs.

Whether it’s a retailer wanting to learn more about how customers will react to a new product or a pharma company wanting to understand how their products can better help patients, a focus group remains one of the key insight tools available to organisations.

One way in which the key conversations, ideas and insights coming out of a focus group session can be captured is by having a graphic recording created during the session itself. This large scale visual is created by a graphic recorder live in real-time on a large sheet of paper (circa 2.5m wide and 1.5m deep) using words, images and other visual thinking techniques. The example below is not from a focus group session (they tend to be confidential!), but gives you an idea of what a graphic recorder can produce during an event:

OUH 12th Dec 2016 Graphic Recording

The benefits of using graphic recording to capture the outputs from a focus group session are:

  • The graphic recording details how the comments, ideas and insights emerged during the focus group and how they are linked together. This adds an extra level of insight for the organisation on top of the actual content captured on the graphic itself. This is not always possible with more traditional methods such as bullet-pointed flip-chart lists etc.
  • The participants see that the graphic recording is an accurate and truthful record of the focus group session and their comments and insights. This can further engage them with the session and build higher-levels of trust. This increased level of trust can encourage them to offer deeper, more personal insights than they otherwise might have done.

To find out more about graphic recording and how it could benefit you in your next focus group session, please contact us here at Crackerjack Visual Thinking.

Crackerjack’s graphic recording featured on UN Women’s #HeForShe global website #engage #communicate #UnitedNations #graphicrecording

We’ve just been informed that the graphic recording Crackerjack Visual Thinking created for the University of Leicester’s #HeForShe global ideathon is featured on the #HeForShe global website. View the article here.

#HeForShe is a UN Women backed campaign developing solutions to ensure the safety of everyone on university campuses worldwide. The University of Leicester is one of 10 IMPACT universities worldwide supporting this campaign and the global ideathon was one element of the UN’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence campaign in November 2016.



The graphic was created live during a 2 hour session. It’s great to see our work being used to visualise and communicate ideas as part of this important global campaign.

If you would like to have your next event or conference captured visually using graphic recording, please contact us.


Afraid to draw at work? #visualthinking #communication #drawtothink

What stops you drawing more at work?

It is acknowledged that sharing information visually via sketches and diagrams can help people understand concepts more easily and drive more meaningful discussions than more traditional methods of sharing information (i.e. reports,  bullet-pointed presentations etc).

Is it because you feel your own drawing skills are not up to scratch?

Or is it because you feel drawing ideas doesn’t align with the culture of your organisation (i.e. you might be laughed at or looked down upon for using a ‘childish’ way of working)?

What I’m pleased to tell you is that both of the above reasons for not drawing are wrong!


You don’t need to be a great artist to draw ideas. Simple stick people, basic shapes and a bit of colour are all you need. A simple sketch that helps people understand something is better than not giving it a go and people not understanding the idea you’re wanting to share! Have a look at Dan Roam’s website (one of the thought leaders in visual thinking) to see how he encourages people to use simple sketches to drive business conversations. Crackerjack also provides training workshops to help you develop your drawing skills – click here to learn more.

If it’s a cultural issue, then simply point out that successful companies like Google and Apple actively encourage their employees to sketch ideas out wherever possible. Many forward-thinking organisations have ‘drawing walls’ where teams can work together to sketch ideas, develop new thinking and explore different ways of doing things. They then simply take a picture on their smartphone to share what they’ve created. Simple, efficient and effective!

So, join the visual thinking party and start sketching out ideas in your workplace today! And remember to share in the comments below how drawing has helped you and your colleagues develop ideas and increase understanding where you work!

Happy and productive drawing!

John Ashton
Crackerjack Visual Thinking

For visual thinking help, advice and training queries Contact Crackerjack