Unleash Your Creativity Through Visual Thinking!
We published this article on the IIBAUK website
Having presented at a Tech event in Birmingham (England) in 2019, on a fine sunny morning, a conversation started between one of the attendees and one of the presenters, “I love your slides, they’re so engaging, did you draw those by hand?” The presenter replied “Yes I’ve always had a passion for art and creativity, but never had the opportunity to use those skills at work, so thought I would give it a go.” That was the moment Grant and Paddy met for the first time and discovered a shared passion for Visual Thinking.
What is Visual Thinking?
There are a few definitions, but one that we like to use comes from the amazing Brandy Agerbeck “Visual Thinking is making a drawing to help yourself or the people you work with make meaning of your life, work, and the world around you.” Within the field of business analysis, we are surrounded by visual models, frameworks and techniques that are designed for this exact purpose. A few that come to mind include, process flows, sequence diagrams, use cases, organisational charts and many more. But many of these representations make it difficult to create empathy and memorable messages. It’s a bit like drinking tea from a white mug everyday - it’s certainly functional and does the job, but wouldn’t it be better if it displayed an element of our personality so that the next time a colleague sees you they’ve remembered you are a Star Wars nerd. We like to call this missing element creativity.
Creativity is particularly important in the current fast paced world of digital disruption, it is essential to the process of innovation and the generation of new ideas. In fact it has been named as the 5th must have skill for the future according to the World Economic Forum. Humans have been using creative skills to communicate with each other for thousands of years - the first known cave paintings date back 65,000 years.
However, we shouldn’t get creativity confused with artistic ability. We are definitely not looking to become the next Leonardo DaVinci. Mike Rohde puts it perfectly, it's about “Ideas not Art!”