Someone once told me that it is important to have an artistic attitude towards the world. It is by doing this that you not only view objects it its true essence, but you also can express these visual forms openly and with intent.
This type of Visual thinking (Gamestorming) aka “doodling” is defined as the ability to coordinate different meanings of images into complete, visual pictures. The concept has been introduced into various industries and fields of work, uncovering new insights and understandings with many companies realising the impact and are reaping the benefits.
Facebook and Citrix System Inc have encouraged their workers to pick up a white board marker and to start their team meetings with drawing a sketch. Senior Management leaders have found the approach to be a natural way to deliver an idea or concept to a team. It also is used as a powerful way to build on existing ideas with studies showing that sketching and “doodling” has helped to trigger over 200 ideas more than an ordinary boardroom discussion.
I wanted to put this concept to the test and decided to involve the Actuex team in a visual thinking exercise known as ‘Squiggle Birds’ created originally by Chris Glynn and endorsed by Dave Gray.
The purpose of the exercise is to ensure the team feel comfortable in drawing business ideas and approaching this in an innovative way.
I firstly encouraged the team to draw random squiggles
Then I put forward ideas on what we could add to these to turn them into something more than just squiggles on a piece paper, such as ... adding a beak and an eye
...and finally, a tail
The purpose of the exercise is to reinforce the power of creative thinking. The mind is a flexible instrument and by being open to this idea we are able to process information quickly and can find patterns naturally.
Some of the Actuex team kept on reinforcing during the exercise they “are not great at drawing” or “their bird isn’t very good” but what was important wasn’t about who created the “best looking bird” it was all about communicating ideas and making a statement - the rest was left up to the mind. I do believe managers should really embrace this level of thinking where creativity and innovation can be key drivers in delivering value on existing project ideas.
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