I was in Texas last week. I lead a multinational financial services company through my half-day visual training seminar. They loved it, and asked how they might quickly get colleagues around the world to start drawing more. I suggested a quick visual exercise I call, “The Double-Venn Drill.” It goes like this: The Double-Venn Drill…
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!
Here’s some great feedback Crackerjack received from Sian Lloyd at EV HR Consultingfollowing on from the first ever 1:1 Scribble Lab coaching session we ran for her:
“John’s graphic recording coaching is not only extremely valuable but also hugely enjoyable. My individual Scribble Lab session had been carefully planned to build on my abilities and with a clear direction of the goals I had said I wanted to achieve. Having this one to one attention from someone so experienced enabled me to move through my learning quickly and find answers to my many questions. A very inspiring day!”
This initial session helped Sian develop her drawing and page layout skills and will be followed up by four 1 hour on-line coaching sessions to help her develop her graphic recording technique.
To find out how Crackerjack Visual Thinking could help you develop your own visual thinking skills or support you in your work, please visit our website or contact us.
If you’re looking for an effective way to increase innovation, creativity and communication in your organisation, here’s a plan:
1. Buy enough coloured marker pens and large sheets of paper for everyone in your business!
2. Give them the confidence and skills (via appropriate visual thinking training) to be able to sketch/scribble/draw their thoughts, ideas and moments of genius.
3. Encourage them to share their sketches with others in the business.
4. Encourage people to (constructively!) add to, amend, change and develop each other’s sketches.
5. Set up an ‘art gallery’ (real or virtual) and display everyone’s sketches and masterpieces.
6. Arrange for everyone to visit the gallery and ask everyone to show which sketches they would buy (i.e. which thoughts/ideas they think have most potential to move the organisation forward) by either ticking the sketch or sticking a post-it to it.
7. Identify the top three most popular sketches/ideas in your art gallery.
8. TAKE ACTION! Try and implement the top three idea/s in your organisation! After all, a good idea that isn’t actioned remains just an idea!