Seeing is Believing
If a picture paints 1,000 words, then why is it that so many times we default to words to lead us through the process of change?
Walking an organisation through the process of change requires clarity of thought, communication and understanding. Without it, the full picture can’t be considered, decisions could be ill-informed, and the resulting change simply won’t stick.
Why use a visual process?
- Research has proven that the short-term memory where words are processed, only retains seven nuggets of information.
- Images are processed more than 60,000 times faster than text and stored by the long-term memory.
- Use of visual communication transcends language barriers and can be more accessible to the neuro-diverse.
- Visual communication is also more deeply connected to emotional responses and is more likely to prompt creative thinking and problem solving.
It’s for these reasons and many more, that we utilise a visual process in working through the business, organisation or service design process. When you attend one of our workshops you can expect to be handed a pen and set of post-it notes to enable co-creation and contribution to the ‘design canvases’. We find that using a visual process provides a common language through which strategy, processes and services can be more deeply understood, increasing alignment within teams.
Seeing the benefits
Working through a collaborative visual process requires that people feel psychologically safe, an environment in which you’re likely to see:
- Any sense of positional hierarchy in the room evened out, as all participants are asked to contribute in the same way at the same time
- Greater engagement from participants as there is less friction to making their contribution in this co-creative environment.
- People loosen up as the ideas flow and more ‘out-of-the-box thinking starts to happen. This in itself brings inspiration, a freshness and excitement to the activity.
- An increased sense of ownership through co-creation. This ultimately results in better/easier buy-in.
- Issues that are surfaced through this kind of activity, tend to feel less personally directed, rather conveying a sense of a problem that we can solve together.
Can using a visual process be beneficial in the day-to-day?
The answer to this has to be a resounding yes for all of the reasons we’ve already outlined! If you don’t know where to start, then sometimes considering how you might communicate a concept without the use of words (think Pictionary or charades) can be a helpful starting point.
As well as being a useful skill for internal communication purposes, it’s also a good one to adopt for external communication too. Content consumers love a video, image or infographic. If you can use less words and break up a website, social post, presentation or report with icons, graphs or images, your audience will definitely thank you for it. They may even bother to engage with your content!