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RECORDING session: Create visual frameworks for better alignment and decisions - by Ben Crothers

Thu, Jun 2, 10:00 AM UTC

In this workshop, Ben Crothers shares with all of us a problem that he had with visual frameworks, which is boredom. He got tired of using the same visual frameworks all the time. He thought there had to be a better way, since there are plenty of options, lots of websites with lots of frameworks. But knowing them all is sometimes not valuable enough. Of course, he expresses all this with drawings!

First of all, he detects the problem: getting alignment and making decisions. In other words: where do I fit in? When making decisions and who will make them?
For that, he shows us a 3x3 matrix of different visual patterns for different levels and topics. There are three different levels to make decisions:

  1. Rational. Schematic frames or diagrams are good, because they appeal to the brain. This responds to the WHAT.
  2. Emotional. Metaphoric frames, since they appeal to the heart. This is the WHY.
  3. Practical. Realistic frames, what people need to do. This is the HOW.

A lot of what we do at work have to do with three categories, which makes the other part of the 3x3 matrix:

  1. Process, progress and change
  2. Problems and solutions
  3. Strategy and systems

Talking about this, Ben gives an example by filling in the 9 boxes in that 3x3 with only drawings made by his hands.
In order to create better visual frameworks, he uses the following 5-step process, represented by drawings as well:

  1. Goal
  2. Chunk (all the content into sensible topics)
  3. Level (for each of these chunks. Brain? Heart? Hands? Or a combination of all 3?
  4. Choose a visual pattern (to represent a SWOT, for example)
  5. Arrange those patterns in a 2D space

His examples are based on drawings of boats, balloons, etc. to represent the purpose, the goals, the projects and the roles and responsibilities. He calls it the ‘’Team Balloon Canvas’’, which is all about alignment and decisions.
At the end of the session, there is a very interesting 10-minute round of questions from the audience, also answered by drawings.

On his book ‘’Presto Sketching’’ it is also possible to find all what he had been through during this workshop.

Make sure you watch the full video, you won’t regret it! We hope you enjoy it!

Besides being a top-notch Drawifier, Ben Crothers is also a professional graphic recorder, facilitator, trainer, and author of Presto Sketching. Ben lives in Sydney Australia, and runs Bright Pilots, his own training and facilitation consultancy. 

Do you want to know more about Ben Crothers? Meet him and his skills on the wrap up video we created about his amazing work!

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