All posts in “visual thinking”

Decoding complexity using graphic recording

Authored by John Ashton, lead graphic recorder

During a recent assignment for Scribing Magic, I was asked by @TripwireInc to graphically record* two Information Security events over the course of three days (#InfoSec15 and #BSidesLDN2015).

*Graphic recording is the art of capturing the key thoughts, ideas and discussions that happen during meetings and events. This is achieved using hand-drawn images and text created live in real time to produce visual records that act as aide memoirs for participants and a way of understanding what happened for those that were unable to attend. Continue Reading…

Are you a visual thinker?

It's not just left-brain / right-brain, it's whole brain engagement.

It’s not just left-brain / right-brain, it’s whole brain engagement.

Visual thinking strategies are being used more broadly in education, particularly in the lower grades where how one thinks matures and becomes a pattern for later in life. This work is imbedding in schools, museums and support facilities for young people with disabilities, particularly autism and related conditions. Continue Reading…

Thinking about listening in new ways.

MM  Process-Middle Post It-7-10-14

For the new year it is valuable to take some time to think a little differently. We find that looking at how meetings happen is useful and supportive of our graphic recording and visual work.

When thinking about meeting this year we will be concentrating on what we call the 5C’s: connecting, collaborating, conversations, co-creating and culture. By thinking about these from the graphic recording perspective we find that we support our meeting facilitators and meeting sponsors so they get a depth of experience from us.

Visual thinking and recording those thoughts can support each of the 5C’s in capturing how they appear or exhibit themselves in your meetings, or in your organisation’s culture. We’ll be exploring these in more detail as the year progresses. Let us know how we can help you explore your 5C’s.

What word sums up high-quality graphic recording?

There is a lot of focus within the graphic recording community about what constitutes good recording and what do we call ourselves and what do we really offer our clients. These are all important conversations and we support those discussions. That said, I helped train Meeting Magic’s Advanced Facilitation workshop these past few days. Interestingly, none of those topics came up from our clients. But there was one word we kept hearing and talking about.

Complexity! Continue Reading…

Visible or invisible. That is the question.

The best graphic recording is there to serve the group. Scribing in meetings is there to add value to your conversations, strengthen commitment to outcomes, and support the group getting to action. Graphic recording is there to help you get your job done.

A recent question we’ve been addressing is how visible is the graphic recorder? How ‘up front’ should the recording itself be? Is the chart front and center for the group to engage? Is the chart in the back of the room capturing a record, much like taking visual minutes of meetings?

This is all important stuff to work out ahead of time with the meeting sponsor, leader or facilitator. We have a series of questions we ask before the meeting. How will you use this graphic recording going forward or is it only to be used by the group in question? What is the role of the recorder in this session? Why are you including graphics in this meeting? Will this specific chart be used again by this group?

Key questions that impact the group and their work are important for the graphic recorder to engage. Planning ahead for including scribing in meetings will create time and thought for how to best utilise graphic and the recorder. Waiting until the last minute to have recording as an add on might add a pretty picture but risks making visual thinking an afterthought rather than a key component to having a successful meeting.

To learn more about making your work visible and knowing how and where to place your graphic recorder, give us a call (+44 (0)1628 471 114 or email us to begin a conversation about graphic recording in your meetings.

What to do when transparency and clarity go opaque.

We frequently see rows of binders on shelves in our clients offices. The titles reveal a lot. These range from ‘Strategy 2020’ to ‘2013 Business Review’ to ‘Regional Action Plans’ and etc. etc. etc. What happened with these reports? Who created them and why? How much time and resource was spent creating these reports? Are they still being used and referenced? What was learned? What was not learned?

Equally, groups and organisations are increasingly talking about transparency and clarity in their work and with their stakeholders. Continue Reading…

How do you sustain institutional knowledge?

One of the major challenges organisations face in our modern, fast-paced, ever-changing world is sustaining, and indeed, improving institutional knowledge. How do individuals, groups, teams, managers and leaders stay on top of the mountains of information, conversations, data and input in a way that helps the organisation stay in touch with what it knows.

One answer is reports. Another is white papers. Another is keeping mounds of card deck presentations. And so it goes. Keeping it all together and in a way that is useful is nearly impossible, it would seem. Continue Reading…

What’s happened to leadership and why am I so flustered?

Leadership used to be a rung on the ladder of success. People aspired to leadership, especially after working hard in the trenches learning a thing or two developing skills and knowledge and even a bit of wisdom. Being the next great leader who would change the world, or at least one small bit of it, was a goal that demonstrated initiative and desire for advancement. Continue Reading…