Introduction This article will teach you two popular design workshop techniques: empathy mapping and user journey mapping. Empathy mapping is a way to characterise your target users in order to make effective design decisions. User journey mapping is a way to deconstruct a user’s experience with a product or service as a series of steps and themes. Put simply, these... Read More ￫
The idea of specialisation or niching is a prevalent one. The argument goes that by focusing on one market or one expertise you focus your efforts and get more done. I reckon it's an easy idea to swallow. Who hasn't felt diffused at some point, distracted by multiple angles and overwhelmed by many projects? The thing is I am not sure it's right for everyone. It's convenient and functionally smart in a business, but I don't think it's what genius does. And I think that the only competitive advantage we have in the developed world against the massive flow of people coming down the line from Brazil, Russia, India and China is to work in our genius.
So here is an old new idea. Be a renaissance man or woman, be more like Da Vinci and less like Henry Ford
You know who you are. You’ve been hearing about coaching (or mentoring, its first cousin once removed) for years now and thought, “Yeah, yeah … that’s for those HR / ‘people people’ types, not me. I’ve got a real job to do.” Or perhaps you’ve figured out how to do pseudo-coaching. You don’t tell people what to do directly, just cunningly ask, “Have you thought of …?” (Which is not so much a question as it is advice with a question mark at the end.) Or perhaps you’re just too busy. You’re certain coaching and mentoring takes too much time, and as much as you’d like to sit down for a nice chat with everyone, you’re already overcommitted and overwhelmed. There’s no room for anything extra. There’s Good Reason to Be Skeptical ... As our world has become more complex and more millennial-y, coaching’s importance to successful teams and organizations has only grown. I’m certain that if you work in an organization of any size greater than one, you’ve been encouraged to coach those you manage
A vision map can serve as a powerful tool for stakeholder engagement and buy in.
Schedule a working session to review the vision map with a small selection of your key stakeholders. Prepare by printing the latest version of the vision map on 11x17 placemat-sized paper, one for each participant, and a single wall-sized version. Introduce the vision map to the group by saying, "A few of us got together and sketched out some ideas. This is the way we see it. We're not saying it's the only way to look at this, but it's what we came up with, and we're sharing it with you to hear what you think about it."
Resist the temptation to present it as a well-polished, complete deliverable. Most of your stakeholders will be seeing this for the first time, and they will feel intimidated and pressured to provide insightful feedback in a few minutes while others have had hours or days refining their ideas. This isn’t the time to impress your stakeholders by how much time and thought you’ve put into the project, or how much knowledge and experience you bring to it, or what creative solutions you’ve thought of. Be authentic as you ask for their help and insight.
Give a very brief walkthrough of the vision map, but don’t read every detail. Cover only the high-level themes. Then say, “It’s important for me to hear your feedback and get your ideas. And because you read a lot faster than I talk, I’m going to be quiet for the next five minutes and let you explore the visual on your own. Take notes. Mark it up. Then, we’ll go around the room, and I’ll capture your input and edits.”
After your stakeholders have time to read, solicit their feedback. You could choose a structured model for feedback, such as I Like I Wish What If , or One Breath Feedback, or One Word Feedback, but it’s best to have an open, facilitated discussion. Make sure every participant is given air time to avoid spending too much time on one aspect of the vision map. Capture the feedback using a combination of graphic recording and direct edits on a version of the vision map large enough for everyone in the room to see. Have a note-taker on hand to capture the discussions between stakeholders. These notes can serve as raw material for more detailed content for the vision map.
Remind yourself that the feedback your stakeholders share is coming from the perspective of their fresh eyes. You have been in the thick of designing and refining the vision map, and it’s easy to lose perspective while working the details. Trust that what you hear is the honest opinion of those who are sharing it.
Thank your stakeholders for their feedback. At all costs, resist the urge to explain or defend. Just make note of what you hear. After the feedback session, meet with your core design team and discuss what you captured, point by point. THIS is the time to go into detail. Decide among yourselves how to incorporate the feedback you received. This may be in the form of edits to the vision map, or in depth discussions with the individual who offered the feedback to better understand their perspective, or in the scope of the vision map overall.
When the next version of the vision map is ready, invite a larger selection of your stakeholders to another feedback session, as well as the original group. They’ll see that their voices were heard, as they see their words reflected in the next version of the vision map. As they see themselves as helping to shape the vision for the future, they’ll be more engaged in the changes to come.
Use applicable decision making models. But before pulling the trigger on decisions, ask 10 character/heart based questions.
What does courage/confidence tell you to do? What does humility tell you to do? What does integrity/honesty/openness tell you to do? What does flexibility/agility tell you to do? What does perseverance tell you to do? What does compassion/kindness tell you to do? What does decisiveness tell you to do? What does respect for others tell you to do? What does passion tell you to do? What does seeking the best interests of others tell you to do?
I first interviewed my guest today, Dan Roam, about five years ago. He is the author of several books on the power of drawing; his latest is Draw to Win: A Crash Course on How to Lead, Sell, and Innovate with Your Visual Mind. It covers all sorts of things, from flying to dyslexia. The main takeaway is that drawing can be a useful everyday business tool to help you have more impact in the work you do — you can use drawing to sell more effectively, to train more effectively and to innovate more effectively. I think you'll enjoy this interview, as we dig into: How drawing can be a powerful tool to map out your thinking. The intricacies of the brain. Why you should draw your vision statement. The art of drawing your destination. Finding truth through drawing.
Dave Wood's insight:
There are some inspiring gems about visual thinking in this transcript of an interview with Dan Roam. Key messages include: its not about drawing, its about mapping out your thinking. You can always follow the link to the podcast if you'd rather listen than read.
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