Visual Thinking

Switzerland Berne Visual Thinking

The contribution a researcher can make to his/her company is limited by many criteria, like asking the right questions and setting up a research agenda that can answer these questions in a timely manner, to name but a few. However, often good research gets ignored because once the study is finished, the bottleneck that prevents the researcher from having impact is the way insights are communicated to clients.

There is no “one-size-fits-em-all” solution for presenting insights. When you want to communicate your findings, let’s say to a designer, an engineer and a manager, and you take all their different working styles into account, you may sometimes end up with three different kinds of deliverables. Unfortunately, in the haze of day-to-day business the researcher too often rushes from project to project not taking enough time to de-code the collected data, synthesizing relevant insights and re-coding them for his audience (= clients).

And the picture above?

Recently I had the good fortune to attend an XPLANE workshop on visual thinking. I won’t go into any detail, but one of the lessons that I learned was that ‘anybody’ can draw. Not necessarily good drawing – by far no art – but drawing. Once you manage to rediscover the child in you, drawing will become what it always has been: simple and fun. And guess what? Drawing sometimes can be a good method of communicating with clients.

While both, bad research and good research can be dressed up by visual design, only the latter will provide the depth to have an impact and travel further in your organization.

My scribblings in the photo above show the result of our first drawing assignment. In this case, my daily coffee-making routine, for which I use a Bodum cafetière and different blends of tasty Swiss coffee.


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