This article in The Wall Street Journal is right on the money.
Doodling, or creating rich pictures as we call it, is a sure-fire way to open up discussion and encourage participation. Ideas can be complex, and words are exact. People will argue about their meaning and lose sight of the bigger picture. As John Heggarty said ‘words are a barrier to communication’.
Pictures are more immediate, universal, and most importantly they carry emotion. When you tell someone a story, or show them a sketch plan, they’re much more likely to become engaged and say ‘I see what you mean’.
We’ve been developing rich pictures for many years for top companies including BBC Worldwide, Capgemini, Cognizant, Gartner, KPMG and Shell. We use this doodling style to gain a profound understanding of your company or ideas. But it’s much more than just doodling to record what’s said. It’s the discussion and challenging of ideas. The dialogue moves the group’s common understanding along quickly towards agreement. But to leave it as a set of sketchnotes is less than half the job. The ideas need to be distilled and restructured, to create a picture - a journey that resonates. And then it has to be presented; unfolded by a ‘human’, in a conversational way. Left alone, a viewer will guess at the story and the meanings. You are the guide, the storyteller to bring the picture to life. As the viewer watches and listens, the insight in the picture becomes clear, and it helps to keep the whole story in mind. As we say, ‘it’s your whole business on one page’.
Clients really value the clarity this process brings. It’s been described as ‘almost magic’ and ‘genius!’.