Pictures are global and transcend words. They carry metaphors, symbols and meaning beyond the written word. Capturing ideas with images takes less time than reading text or verbalizing ideas, and making drawings helps you tell stories more effectively. Visual thinking can help you make sense of complexity, help find patterns and surface critical issues, help make faster, better decisions, and help you take action and do ‘good’ for your business.
In order to get comfortable with the skill of visual thinking, we need to build confidence in drawing ability for those with no experience, help people develop a personal toolbox of sketching shortcuts, promote and encourage visual thinking as a useful tool at the desk and in the conference room.
The goal is to move from “let’s THINK out loud” to “let’s VISUALLY THINK out loud” as a way to brainstorm, collaborate and innovate together in the workplace.
This presentation was originally given at the UnitedHeath Innovation Day in Minneapolis where I was tasked with lecturing and leading a workshop on Visual Thinking. We had a great turn out and a lot of enthusiasm from the attendees. A number of people mentioned that they were ready to go back to their workplace and try this with their team-mates and colleagues. In addition, I got a nice ‘high-five’ from Ryan Armbruster, VP, Innovation Competency at UnitedHealth Group, when I mentioned a few people were going to take my challenge to ‘turn off’ power point and ‘turn on’ sketching as a way of thinking and presenting in meetings.