Group Partners In 60 Seconds
HUGE THANKS TO THOMAS POWER FOR PUSHING US TO MAKE THESE FILMS
1. Let’s Not Solve The Wrong Problems Really Well
We constantly do solve the wrong problems because it’s too easy to look at effects rather than the causes. It’s all too easy to go for the simple solution rather than thoughtful and harder ones. We are too busy to look at the whole picture.
2. Why Do We Call It Structured Visual Thinking™?
Three simple words that make all the difference. There’s plenty of people who will turn up and draw what people say on a wall. It’s completely not what we do. We use the process of visualising* to make higher quality decisions parsed through logical models.
* We add the power of visualisation to the importance of structure and as a result we encourage much better thinking
3, What Is It About The Power Of Pictures?
It’s because words have been so abused. It seems almost everyone we meet can have a very different meaning of the most important ones. You know — innovation, quality, vision, mission, outcome, intention, purpose. By collectively drawing a picture we can force clarity — every time.
We apply Structured Visual Thinking™ tools and techniques to create outcomes based on the meaning of the concepts and get more clarity of the actual words.
4. The Intelligence Behind The Information That Makes It Work
The power of logical and structured thinking results in the creation of what we call frameworks. They emerge from an appreciation of the context and then calculating* what mechanism will help us answer the challenge. Frameworks* are our tools for forcing the right debate. They create the arcs for strategic narratives and help us build business cases and make the smartest decisions.
* Frameworks are powerful ways for curating and collecting the content that’s needed to make the tough choices needed for strategy. We call this Framework Science™
5. Getting To The Heart Of The Matter
Understanding how to make the right choices is a massive challenge for leaders in business today. It’s never been more complex and there’s no one right answer anyway. The straightforward fact that visualisation and structure contains logic helps us get to the better answer far faster,
Think of this systemic approach to conversations as a 21st Century strategic ‘answering machine’.
6. The Art Of Drawing Better Conclusions
Symbolism and imagery reflected in real time back to the audience helps to explain to people that what they are thinking is not what they mean*. And that can be liberating to some and deadly if not uncovered. People are not deliberately aiming to be mischievous — it’s just how we have become immune to common language.
We lack the bandwidth or interest (in many cases) to engage or dig into the meaning behind the language we use.
7. Nodding — Overcoming The Biggest Problem In Business Meetings
The biggest issue we have in meetings and workshops is the tendency of people to say they understand something when they absolutely don’t. That’s really not a very good idea and it’s potentially catastrophic for business.
Politeness or peer group pressure, call it what you like is everywhere, but we all see it. It is now so common that it appears in the top five of our biggest reasons why change and transformation doesn’t work.
8. When We Say ‘Let’s See’ — What Does That Actually Mean?
Not rushing to the answer is a powerful stance. It means that over time (and in collaboration with the team using visual frameworks) we all get to uncover the right answer — together. Not one that had been conceived ahead of the facts. Our belief is that many situations are compounded by the vested interest of consultants and agencies forcing their preferred solutions onto clients.
When I was a client I would issue the same brief to 1) an ad agency, 2) a management consultancy and 3) a technology provider/advisor. A few weeks later they would return and (no surprise) the response would be 1) a 30 second TV commercial, 2) six months of consulting followed by a software implementation or 3) straight to the vendors software or other ‘a m a y z i n g’ technology solution.
9. Vision — The Single Most Important Thing For The Business
It’s always an interesting one — when senior leaders of major firms lack a single or clear idea of the vision for their company. If you think about that there’s little wonder that meaningful change is so hard and motivation so low.
In this world there’s three things that a business needs. A clear idea of the vision of the future, a deep belief in their place in it - and a high degree of preparedness.
10. Will The Turkeys Vote For Christmas?
I’m not saying these industries (agencies/consultancies) are dead yet — far from it - but they will be very different businesses very soon. And the smart ones know it.
As data API’s bring the insight needed to dynamically create all the solutions of the trade (Decision Making, Copywriting, Media Planning, Creative Concepts) - in an automated way clients will have direct access to their own destiny via technology.
11. Solving Visual Problems Using Visualisation
We are not about making the problem look pretty. Nor do we just use visuals in workshops — see videos below. We use visualisation at every stage. Drawing images are incredibly powerful - especially in real time to assist decision making. There’s a distinct human/emotional reaction to working this way that’s difficult to achieve in any other way.
We see people engage in very powerful ways as we tease out their ideas and start to solve the issues they have. It’s especially valuable to force distinctions between important principles and definitions of concepts. It quickly shows us the gaps between what we know and what we need to know. And why have we stopped teaching drawing beyond certain ages in school? Don’t get me going!
12. Making Better Decisions Through Data And Machine Creativity
Data is increasingly important to business. Clever technology is far smarter than us at making the kinds of complex decisions based on the enormous quantities of data than we humans are. These calculations are needed in close to real time and humans are left in the dust by computers who have far bigger computational power over the data sets. Impartiality and objectivity are crucial principles in staying firmly on the side of the clients and the right answer, whatever that is, is the right answer.
I am not saying that human creativity is doomed any time yet but we need to be watchful. I believe true creativity — mutually valuable human/emotional inter-relationships will probably survive but much of the global complex decision making (a big domain for the consultancy industry) will be challenged.
13. Starting With The Exam Question
The importance of getting at the right question (at the start) cannot be overstated — it’s so that we avoid solving the wrong problem really well. The ‘exam question’ is the anchoring question that forces the right discussions and keeps us honest in every sense.
It still surprises me how many times it turns out that the initial question was wrong but it’s always a good thing.
14. The Elusive Meaning Behind Strategy
We have a love hate relationship with the idea of strategy. The word ‘strategy’ is widely abused as a term and we are doing all we can to change that. Fact is, the word is not to blame but the concept that springs into peoples heads is. If people think it’s a business plan that lives in a drawer; if they assume it’s other peoples responsibility — it’s wrong and it kills.
Strategy has been described recently as the game worth playing, and historically - the art of using battles to win wars, whereas tactics are the art of using soldiers to win battles.
15. Interactive Deliverables
Creating a strategy is nothing without the execution. Execution, on the other hand is nothing but a random act of ego without a thoughtful plan. The deliverables have a big part to play in the successful result of all that.
This video starts to explain the incredible power we have now with readily available tools for immersion and communication.
16. The Power Of Video & Animation In Telling Stories
Complex situations are now everywhere and we really do live in a 140 character world. We use animation and video extensively to overcome these kinds of challenges.
It seems our attention span decreases each week - we literally have seconds to attract and engage our audiences. Techniques such as video and animation, together with gaming technologies have mushroomed exponentially over the last few years as a result.
17. Interactive Systems
Much of what we do is confidential but this example is now out of restriction. It is still a generic version but it will explain the main idea. It shows how we can explain the vision and mission of a complex transformational program in simple ways to multiple audiences.
18. The Infinite Power Of Interactive Storytelling
This video shows how we can explain the changes to complex processes very simply and in an educative fashion. All of these tools are central to success in changing the behaviours of many different people with differing needs within a transformational program. The goals are always going to need to be communicated in simple but relevant ways.
19. Strategy Is Winning
There’s a lot of discussion about what strategy is. Every time we meet another practitioner we hear another refinement to the definition. Very few of them are wrong but they can be very self serving and somewhat narrow.
We believe that you can tell what the maturity of strategy exists when it isn’t present. Demotivated staff, reduction in revenues and growth and a general lack of interest in the business being displayed by the leadership.