Even if you can only draw stick people…

Even if you can only draw stick people…

Even if you can only draw stick people…

During the holidays, I finally had time to read some “long form” blog posts of more than three sentences…

In my “to read” archive, I found this fully entertaining example of how to use simple illustrations — primarily stick people and timelines — to help tell a story. A TED Talk, plus a blog post about the excruciating process of creating a TED Talk if one happens to be a procrastinator.

Thank you to Tim Urban of Wait But Why  for the intelligent, light-hearted inspiration.

 

Using sketches in daily business

Using sketches in daily business

Using sketches in daily business

In preparation for our 2020 Hands-on Forum for Strategy Visualization, I’m collecting examples of how business leaders use simple illustrations to communicate more effectively — as inspiration for others to try.

Here is a good explanation from Basecamp founder Jason Fried, that appeared in Inc. Magazine (US) this quarter.

Any sketch that a team discusses can increase mutual understanding of a concept and plan.

We will have some fun practicing this skill as non-artists during our Forum next June!

Real challenges: the Messy Middle

Real challenges: the Messy Middle

Real challenges: the Messy Middle

I so appreciate Scott Belsky‘s perspective about implementing strategy, which he outlines in The Messy Middle.  Combining his experience as Chief Product Officer of Adobe, co-founder of Behance and investor, Scott focuses on start-ups and entrepreneurs – which are today’s trend.

Yet his two visual charts here describe nearly every strategy I’ve seen, large company or small, and are well worth a look (and a smile): The Myth and The Reality.

Scott says that we don’t talk about the down curves of implementation enough. The persistence, the stress, the tough surprises, the wondering if it is simply impossible. We could better prepare to have stamina when facing the obstacles as leaders and as teams.

If we communicate nothing else, maybe it should be this – that our strategy will inevitably go differently in implementation than it starts on paper and that we will have to adjust.

While acknowledgement of this reality is not the easiest, shiny, drum-rolling, vision painting way to begin, it might be the most honest and credibilty building when the strategy plan plays out.