It’s a great time to #review your #achievements this year and #visualise what you will #achieve in #2018

As we approach mid-November, the end of the year is looming into view rapidly. Before the Christmas period begins, it’s a great time to review what you and your team have achieved this year and also to think about what you want to achieve in 2018.

Reviewing 2017…

Graphic facilitation involvement

A great way to review the year is to take a large sheet of paper (the bigger the better!) visually map your 2017 achievements against a timeline of the year. Use drawings/cartoons/doodles in addition to words to really bring this to life. Get everyone involved – remember it’s not about creating ‘art’ but it is about creating a way for everyone to see what they’ve achieved over the course of the year.

Visualising 2018…

Looking forward to 2018, why not ask your team to each create individual images showing what they think the team needs to achieve in the coming year. You can then compare these to look for similarities and differences – and drive a great conversation that will help really focus people’s mind on the year ahead. You could then get the team to work together to produce a finalised visual version of the plan for 2018. Display this on a wall when complete and regular review your progress against this during the coming year.

Alternatively, feel free to contact us to help you create a rich picture (like those shown above) of your teams vision for 2018 (and beyond!).

For support with any of the above ideas, please do CONTACT US

Running a 2017 Kick-Off event in January? If so, read this! #engage #communicate #visualthinking

Are you running a kick-off meeting in early 2017 to get you and your team ready for the year ahead?

Being clear about what you want to achieve in 2017 and how you are going to do this is vital to the success of your organisation.

60 page PowerPoint presentations and over-long speeches are not the best way to engage with your people and communicate key messages!

Getting your people really thinking, talking and identifying the actions they need to take to achieve the organisations goals in 2017 will provide you with a much better chance of success.

To do this effectively we recommend the following steps:

  • Think about when and where you get your people together. If it’s going to be a face to face event, remember that the venue and room play and important role in how energised people feel and how engaged they are with the event.
  • Identify three or four clear organisational aims for 2017. Any more than this and people won’t have the time to really think about the role they play in achieving each of these.
  • Don’t just tell people the information! Help them discover it themselves through activities and discussion. Learning information rather than being simply told it is proven to be the most effective way to really understand and retain information. A graphic facilitation approach which combines facilitation with visual thinking techniques can be ideal for this type of activity.Graphic facilitation involvement
  • Think visually! Wherever possible and practicable, use images and diagrams to complement the other materials you will be sharing with your people. Rich pictures provide a great way of sharing complex information and graphic recording can capture the key thoughts, ideas and comments that emerge during your kick-off meeting.
  • Follow-up after the meeting. Be sure to set up channels that enable people to continue the conversations started at the event. Also ensure that you find a way to visually show the organisations progress against the 2017 goals.
  • Plan ahead! Toward the end of 2017, arrange another event to celebrate success and gather learning’s from the work undertaken in 2017. These can then be used to inform your plans and kick-off meeting for 2018.

We hope this advice is helpful to you. If you would like to discuss any of the above ideas, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

John Ashton – Crackerjack Visual Thinking

Helping your people engage with your organisations plans for 2017 #engage #communicate #vision

2017 seems to be just around the corner!

Although many organisations financial and strategic planning years do not align with the calendar year, it’s important to remember that moving into 2017 will, for many of your people, represent a new start.

Did you know that most life changing decisions (both personal and professional) are made during the Christmas and New Year periods? The mix of time away from work, seeing family and friends and the ‘out with old, in with the new’ feeling that a New Year brings plays a large part in this.

For this reason, the Christmas and New Year period (and the run up to it) should be a time when engaging with your people and helping them understand the role they will play in delivering your organisations ambitions for 2017 is vital.

So how do you achieve this?

The ‘normal’ line management process including reviewing objectives and discussing how these can be achieved in 2017 can play an important role in helping people understand the tasks they personally need to achieve in the coming year. However, it’s important that these conversations are also framed in the context of the organisations vision and ambitions.

People become more engaged with an organisation when their own values, beliefs and ambitions align with those of the organisation. Where this alignment is missing, the greater chance that good people will make the decision to leave an organisation.

So, ensure that you bring the bigger themes of the organisations vision and ambitions for 2017 into the conversations that you have with your people as we head towards the fast approaching New Year. Discuss what this means to them and the role they see themselves playing in achieving these goals. Ask them what other information they would need to fully understand how they fit into the 2017 plan. Ask them what they like about the 2017 vision and what they may find more difficult to engage with.

Above all, have an honest conversation about 2017 that isn’t simply task focussed and takes an individuals hopes, beliefs and aspirations into account.

At Crackerjack, we have found that rich pictures (examples shown below) are a valuable way of sharing an organisations vision, values and plans with its people. A single engaging image of an organisations story that everyone can see, discuss and understand across an organisation could be a powerful tool to support engagement with your people as we head into 2017. To find out more please contact us, call 0775 282 6227 or visit