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Pictures spark conversation and fresh thinking in business planning

One of the real advantages of graphic recording (or drawing meeting conversations as they happen on large posters) is that participants have the opportunity to stand back and see what they have been talking about. It allows businesses and organisations to see how their ideas have evolved and the direction their conversations are going in. It’s a colourful and creative record of their group discussion (which, if not captured, may have otherwise been lost forever) and shows them ‘the bigger picture’.

A photo of me capturing the conversation at a leadership workshop

From my experience, I have found no matter what industry sector the business is in people respond to pictures. I think drawings and pictures strike an innate chord within us – we learn to speak with images first and then move onto letters and words. As we get older, we may put less emphasis on pictures but deep down I believe the connection always exists.

The icons I draw and scatter within my posters build on the key words, issues or ideas I hear while listening intently to the conversation in the room. And when people reflect on the posters, the icons or images seem to reignite this connection to pictures – and in doing so, they help spark conversations, kick-start more thinking or allow people to understand or share a key point within the context of their business.

The start of one of my posters from a business strategy workshop

I like to think of the icons I draw as little ‘doorways’ that allow people to step into new areas or as little ‘bridges’ that enable participants to meet half way and find common ground without getting stuck on words or corporate language. Here are a few of examples from recent business and leadership workshops. I hope you enjoy them.

Leading change

Motivating our employees

Dream like you were a kid again

Entrepreneurs never sleep

Building trust

Business can be challenging and tough

Acknowledge achievement

Business congestion

The fish bowl effect at work

Somethings aren't an overnight process

What big themes jump out at you?

Sharpen your story

 And finally, here’s a good photo of participants at a business leadership planning workshop reviewing their ideas and ‘standing back to see the bigger picture’ of how their strategic discussion had evolved.

Partipicants review, reflect on and discuss the graphic recording posters