Journal of a Visual StorytellerReading time 5 minutes
January 12, 2019
I had agreed today with Today I had agreed with James and Valerie to finalize our vision for the energy transition department. This is a super important topic and a high priority, so I was hoping that we would finally take some concrete steps toward a final vision, but unfortunately… After we finished the meeting, it all just felt very flat and superficial.
James was throwing around container terms, and the ideas that rolled out were very impersonal and generic (sorry team!). And when I say something about it, that maybe we should think out of the box, all I get back from Valerie is, “We don’t work in the creative sector, do we?!”
Well, I think it’s nonsense, I think everyone can think in stories and metaphors. I just feel like a vision about SUCH AN IMPORTANT SUBJECT needs to be polished to be almost tangible, you have to be able to taste and feel it. Anyway, this whole process is a spot on the horizon, endlessly searchable, and still a long way off!
Who would have thought Valentine’s Day could bring so much beauty!
I attended a client presentation where they presented the future path of a start-up project. I just have butterflies in my stomach now that I think of it again. It was presented by a man who had studied Visual Thinking, and I have to tell you, I am in love!
No no no, not with the presenter, but with his visual way of working! I got to witness how a usually super boring presentation came alive through a fluent visual story with metaphors as he talked and it started to come to life with the audience. Because of the use of his visuals and story, we were glued to his lips and were taken on a kind of magical journey. I saw how everyone understood and felt to the bottom of their hearts what the project really meant.
Afterward, I was in conversation with some of my colleagues and I noticed that we continued with the presenter’s metaphors The conversation felt so alive!
After my in-love phase last month, I decided to dive into Visual Thinking as well. I first immersed myself in the world of metaphors and imagery through several books and learned through a training course how I could visualize these quickly and dirty and what visual tools I could use in the process.
I prepared a few sketchy images of three different metaphors to see what we connected with, and almost automatically we began to talk in images and metaphors and arrived at a sketch of a tree symbolizing the future we want to grow towards. A few simple images suddenly allowed us as a team to communicate and articulate much better what was really at the essence of our vision and our core values and how that would affect our apples, ahem, products.
We decided to share this outline with the management team. We gave everyone post-it’s to jointly agree on the further content of our vision. All this led to an inspired and animated discussion. At the end of the meeting, everyone stood around the tree adding and moving post-its. We went much deeper into the vision than ever before, because for the first time we were talking about the same thing. Finally, it had become tangible. James, Valerie, and I walked away with a clear picture of a visual vision displaying our core values, where we want to grow to, and what products are needed to do so, and … we felt motivated, inspired, and fulfilled!
Hey diary, it’s been a while since I last spoke to you. But I was so busy with my newly found love.
Can you remember me telling you about how I fell in love with Visual Thinking and that we had such inspiring results with the energy transition project? Well, after this success, we started implementing Visual Thinking even more widely in the company!
I try to apply it in as many aspects of my work as possible. I now design my presentation as visual and storytelling as possible and work with clients to create inspiring visions and stories. Work has suddenly become inspirational! Even Valerie is joking that maybe we should rename ourselves a “creative” consulting firm after all!
Work is suddenly so much more creative, inspiring and easy: and that’s why I’m in love with Visual Thinking!
A Visual Storyteller
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