FASTER PATH TO CLEAR COMMUNICATION
It started with just a couple of us — going into meetings, always holding onto the nearest Sharpie or Expo marker and as debates and conversations flow in the room, we would respond to what was being said by capturing moments of conversations. At first, things were a simple 1:1 capture of what was said to what went on the board, but now these captures are evolving to include nodes or groupings of like-minded topics and illustrations along with words to create that instant connection to what is being said. By doing this, we are having more active meetings where people are detaching from their laptops so they can take in what is happening on the board and react or go deeper on certain topics. By creating this environment of active participation, everyone has more ownership of the “thing” we are all creating together.
THE ENTHUSIASM IS AWESOME
Whether we’re drawing on walls, boards, or paper, people will stop by and ask about the work or process and want to know more. There’s a definite moment of: What’s happening over there? I want to know more about that. I want to learn to draw. What started with a couple of us, is now becoming somewhat of the new normal at COPIOUS.
David Hughes, one of our Strategic Directors, was preparing for a workshop with a client and needed someone to support him in facilitation as the designer. Since it was a shorter-format workshop, I suggested that he could be the designer as well. His first reaction one of: I don’t draw. To which my reaction was: Of course you can, let me show you some basics. Within 15 minutes, David and I were able to go through a few common visual symbols that come up pretty regularly:
A person. A person who is frustrated. Someone with an idea. Someone who wants that idea. Someone looking one way or the other. Someone with their hands up in the air or pointing… and so on.
You then take that and augment it with symbols or drawings that you think might come up relative to the subject matter or client you’ll be working with, and do some practice sketching before the event or workshop. Having a base set in your back pocket will get you started and get you in the game. This is the new go-bag: Have pens and shapes. Will travel.
There is this amazing connection that is happening between those of us who are starting to draw as a part of our workflow. When we’ve finished drawings, we’re proud to show them off to each other. It reminds me of that feeling of drawing when I was a kid, and I would run up to my mom and say, “Look what I drew!” And she would be proud and supportive of what I was working on. The same is happening now as each of us is armed and then inspired by this scrappy visual language we are developing. Every time someone brings over a drawing and says, “Hey, check out this map I drew!” I’m totally proud and excited and want to see more.