Key insights on Visual Design Thinking 3/5

For anyone who wants to understand the potential of Visual Design Thinking for you and your organization.

Training @ NPO
Training @ NPO

Remember my last article on Visual Design Thinking?

When people start talking about ‘Visual Design Thinking’ you will most likely get many question marks popping up in your head. In my opinion it is an area yet to explore after the introduction of Design Thinking, Agile working, Scrum Masters, and many other buzzwords that are used in business nowadays. I would like to help you gain some clarity on this subject.

As discussed in the first article: each week I’ll share one of the insights! Last week I explained that it’s not about ‘making pretty drawings. For the ones who are up for a challenge: Try to visualize the insights you gained from this article 😉 For now: Time to reveal the third insight. Have fun while reading!

Summerschool @ Flatland
Summerschool @ Flatland

3. It’s the process that creates alignment.

The process of creating a visual representation follows the steps of Design Thinking where you iterate, gather feedback and iterate again in order to accelerate to a successful outcome. The key value of Visual Design Thinking is that it’s not the final visual that generates the impact, it the process of shaping the visual in co-creation with your colleagues is what helps you to shape it and create mutual understanding.

The people that need to work with the proposed concept or strategy need to be aligned, to have that same mental picture in mind. This alignment will safeguard a congruent story and a shared feeling of ownership. It results in intrinsic motivation to share the message across your organization. The combination of a message supported by a visual is the most valuable and rich way of communicating within your organization.

Try it yourself: When you talk about ‘innovation’, you should ask your colleagues if they could draw what it means to them. At this point, you’ll identify differences in the drawings as people have personal associations that build up to this drawing.

You’ll probably see differences ranging from drawing light bulbs that come out of a cardboard box, to a group of people that share one big thinking-cloud, showing a candle with an arrow to this lightbulb, representing their shared thoughts about the process of innovation.

While reading this, you’ll experience that fact that this would have been much more clear if I would have shown these drawings to help you understand what I had in mind while writing this.

Exactly, the power of visualizing is the support for your brain to grasp the essence and verify if our mental models are similar (or not). There is no right or wrong in the created visuals, it only sheds light on the different interpretations of your team that only becomes aware after you have visualized them.

The sooner you reach this point, the faster you’ll get to a shared mental model of what words like sustainability, innovation, and efficiency mean to your organization.

Let’s join forces to make an impact in your organisation!

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