Melbourne

December 11, 2017

 

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SENSEMAKING

with Lynne Cazaly
using The Visual Mojo Method
 
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Build this powerful, influential skill to help make sense of change, communicate clearly and engage people in the most challenging situations

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    Entries in sketchnotes (2)

    Saturday
    Dec142013

    Stop thinking, start living

    I try and read the book Stop Thinking Start Living at some stage of each year.

    It's a classic and a quick read and is a brilliant reminder to get outta your head and into yer life!

    I might read it on a plane, while I'm staying in a hotel while away for work or simply pick it up and read a few chunks when I need it, or even when I don't!

    When things get a bit much or you find yourself deep in your thoughts... too deep... this one can work so well. 

    The first time I read it, I wrote up this page of dot points on a piece of bright pink fluro paper.

    This page is a little faded now, but it is my list of reminders on a pinboard in my office to help me lead my own thinking better. It's my shortcut to the book, my key messages or my list of 'must try and dos'. 

    While the dot point list has sentimental value, I find it challenging to recall any more than one or two from the list - no matter how many times I've read it. 

    So this visual I created this afternoon will give my mind all the visual anchors it needs to recall the detail and retain the essence of my 'takeaways' of the book - so much better than the list. 

     It's my end of year wish to you that you too can stop thinking and start living - particularly at this time of year when families are together... or not, and friends are there for you... or not.

    You are always there for you. So get on and live rather than thinking about living. 

     

    Wednesday
    Dec112013

    Lean Leadership Lessons - the Visual Notes Story

    This morning in Melbourne I watched a livestream of the Lean StartUp conference, beamed from San Francisco. 

    There were many swift presentations on great topics. 

    Usually when I'm at a conference or seminar, I keep myself listening and focused by capturing visual notes. Also known as graphic recording, sketchnoting or scribing. 

    I will often share the image of the visual notes I've created, based on the content I've heard. 

    Today I shared this visual on Leadership Lessons in Lean - presented by a team from Intuit Inc. 

    I'm often asked what app I use or how I create the visuals I share. 

    Here's the short story on what I do...

    - I do use the app Brushes on my ipad mini. There are plenty of others I've tried; this one remains my favourite. Look for an app that will let you zoom, choose brushes and colours and output to a jpeg, mov, PDF or other file.

    - I don't use a stylus. I've tried many and find that using my finger to write, zoom and change colour/brush size is quicker and easier (for me anyway) than writing, shuffling the stylus, writing again...

    - I often start in the middle of the blank screen with the presenter's name and title, or start at the top with a big bold, banner-style heading. You can do this before the speaker starts - it's a good 'warm up'. 

    - I do listen out for voice changes in the speakers -it's as important as listening to the content they're delivering. It helps you separate what's important and what's waffle.  Speakers are signalling which points are important by how they speak!

    - I do write out some key words they've said, and if a quick visual or image comes to my mind that will help anchor and enhance that key point, I'll sketch that. (I don't think you need to know how to draw many icons or symbols at all. About 20 is a good place to start and build up from there to 50 - 120. They're reusable for so many different meanings and concepts).

    - I may have to pause on that point or visual I'm writing because now I'm listening for their next point and might have to write and draw that. 

    - Time permitting I do go back to the previous point and begin to embellish it more; more detail on the picture, different colour for the words.

    - I do keep building up the content either working in columns or radiating out from the centre of the page. 

    - If I feel like I'm 'running out of space', I can adjust the size that I'm writing; I can scale it down and write smaller, or place other key points 'in the white spaces' on the page. 

    If you're not already taking visual notes for yourself - let alone your team - you're missing out on vital opportunities to learn, retain, recall and distil information. Plus it's fun, and a productive and effective way to build your creative muscle - and it certainly keeps you listening and stops your mind wandering to whether or not they'll have muffins at morning tea.

    Some speakers are well organised, structured and entertaining. That makes taking visual notes an absolute joy! Others you have to listen hard to - trying to work out 'what are they saying', 'what's this really about'? Often that's because they haven't clarified their thinking; they could have another pass at their content and improve on their presentation. We could all improve on our presentations!

    But you'll have a better chance of understanding and making meaning of presentations and content when you've got a sorting or filtering process you're working on - and visual notes are just that!

    Try visual notes rather than dot points, linear notes and pages of scrawl that you may never look at again.

    Oh go on! Try it in private - listen to the news, an interview or a TED talk!