Visual-thinking

 Alex Matthews, Creative Director of the Ludic Group, led a visual thinking session at the Innovation Roundtable workshop, Culture of Innovation & Customer Centricity, in May 2019. We caught up with Alex and asked him to share the top tips he explored at the workshop with his audience of innovation executives. Spoiler alert: You don't have to be a brilliant artist.

Co-creating a meaningful future with your team enables alignment because it's a shared experience. As Garrick Jones points out in the Ludic Group's Podcast ALIVE, Episode 4: Collaborating in Our Digital World:

"Collaboration creates trust in the system. People buy into what they believe"

Visual thinking plays a vital role in a culture of collaboration as it provides a safe space where people can openly share and test ideas. Furthermore, it's a leaner way to work because discussion and visioning happen simultaneously. Quite literally, ideas take shape as you breath, think, talk and sketch.

To co-create with your team and foster collaboration, here are four visual thinking principles that designers and illustrators use to connect and engage:

Simplicity makes space for clarity, promotes understanding, encourages comprehension, inspires motivation and action. Keep it simple, always.

Familiarity enables us to bypass the fear of the unknown by using symbols that an audience will already know. Accessing this sort of prior knowledge is incredibly useful to visual communicators for the sake of brevity as well as engagement.

Visual Wit is not necessarily funny work, rather something that is pleasingly clever - like the hidden arrow in the FedEx logo. Using inventive thought to connect influences people to enjoy the idea of being 'in on the joke'.

Metaphor and Analogy likens your idea, strategy or story to a familiar visual. For example, you could represent your team's journey to 2025 as a mountain, or a road with obstacles to overcome, or a ship sailing through choppy waters to reach new land. Analogy enables us to convey compelling and complex ideas by using visual stories to connect with the audience.

Call to action

Visual thinkingtherefore, is about the journey we take to get to that meaningful picture. It is not necessarily about drawing. It's about choosing the right image, or the right icon. Or combining visual things cleverly to convey a message and engage an audience.

When next designing a future or a solution with your team, get visual. Put the four principles into practice and create the red thread together:

"As organisations become ever more networked, they become like a labyrinth of connections and pathways and knowledge. And making it visible and making it clear for everybody who works there, what their role is and how they can usefully contribute, becomes ever more difficult. Create a spine that is visual to allow people to navigate as they are working together" Paul Ashcroft, Ludic Group, Podcast ALIVE, Episode 4: Collaborating in Our Digital World

Explore further

For visual inspiration, click here.

Listen to the Ludic Group Podcast ALIVE, Episode 4: Collaborating in Our Digital World

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Friday, 23 August 2019
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