A Swiss studio whose agile team makes big visual ideas a reality

A Swiss studio whose agile team makes big visual ideas a reality

A Swiss studio whose agile team makes big visual ideas a reality

During the Zurich WorldWebForum last month, I had the great pleasure to hear Valentin Spiess, Chairman and CEO of Swiss-based iArt share his view of leadership in today’s workplace.

His facinating 50-person studio team creates “astonishing”projects that bring technology and people together – such as this multimedia room from the Foundation Beyeler Paul Gauguin exhibit .  Super example of how a visual, interactive experience can enhance our immersion in a topic.

Even more memorable for me, Valentin emphasized, as part of the Future of Work track, the culture required for a high performance, multidisciplinary team that delivers big projects. He had measured theirs, highlighted the differentiators: High rules of collaboration, method. High individual autonomy. Transparence. Humility. 

I found the entire perspective and vision inspiring.

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!

Any of us can use a sketch this way

Any of us can use a sketch this way

Any of us can use a sketch this way

Nearly every time we start a visual discussion with a blank sheet of paper, at least one business participant looks up in horror –

I cannot draw! It totally stresses me out!

Here – in the Value of Quick Storytelling – Joshua Wold, Product Designer with Automattic (which owns WordPress) shares examples of how to use sketches simply to create more clear understanding in conversation.

Scrolling down Joshua’s post, one notices that most of the sketches are rectangles, squares and single lines of various types. He even adds a few tool tips near the end.

While these examples have an artful touch, any of us can draw a box!

Shall we try?

 

Designing with words

Designing with words

Designing with words

Kevin Hoegger created hand lettering-style illustrations to help us show how simply using words, letters and design could effectively get across a strategy.

He started by suggesting inspirations from which we could choose – in this case architecture – and built the visual from there.

Of all of the Forum case study sketches, participants related to these with the fewest questions. Maybe as business people, we easily “get” words and linear organization.

Kevin also brought examples of how to expand on the visual with hand-out template variations. Practical and pragmatic.

Here, his resulting “taster” put movement into the growth.

One word, designed. A visualized reminder of the full conversation.

 

About the artist

Kevin Hoegger, represented during the Forum through Visualeyes International, has worked globally with clients such as Nike and RedBull, especially for promotional designs and exhibits. His passion for typography ranges from three-dimensional concrete letters to ancient calligrapy and digitally-generated forms.

Do you have a Prezi?

Do you have a Prezi?

Do you have a Prezi?

Science sports reporter David Epstein does! He used it cleanly and clearly during this 2014 Ted Talk:  Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger?

Considered one of the most viable business presentation software competitors to Microsoft PowerPoint, we find Prezi worth a mention if you haven’t already looked at it.

Prezi makes it easy to create presentations that zoom in and out from an initial overview page. Having explored examples and created our own “taster Prezi,” our view is that – as with all strategy communication – it works best with three to five key points supported by thoughtfully selected data (i.e. maximum two zoom-ins).

Even more intriguing is Prezi’s recent acquisition of Infogram, which offers templated data visualization.

While Infogram cannot compete with more sophisticated data visuals, such as those produced by Interactive Things, we look forward to trying it on some typical uses – such as showing data by geographic region.

We continue to follow Prezi and similar platforms with interest, as they attempt to compete with the powerful Microsoft Office 365 channel to market.