How Doodling helps Facebook and Zappos Generate Ideas

Harvard Social Enterprise Conference 2012

A few weeks ago, I made myself a promise to do something every now and then that scared me. As luck would have it, a friend sent me an email asking if I knew any visual note takers who could help with an upcoming conference. She didn’t have a ton of money to hire an expert. Though my drawings only make sense to me (LOL!), I bit the bullet and offered myself up as a visual note taker in case she wasn’t able to find anyone. The thought of standing up in front of a crowd and visually expressing what was happening at the conference horrified me. It was then and there that I knew graphic facilitation could serve as my “one thing” that week.

After some back and forth, details of the conference changed and my skills, or at least attempt, was no longer needed. That same week I saw a Wall Street Journal article titled, “Doodling for Dollars.” If you’ve ever wondered about the benefits of doodling, read on. Well-known businesses like Facebook, Zappos, Microsoft and Citrix Systems are sending employees to graphic facilitation training and hiring consultants to sketch what is happening in meetings. These cartoon like drawings help to generate ideas, build collaboration, and simplify communications. And, from a learning standpoint, visualizing notes and ideas helps with retaining information.

In case you’re wondering what graphic facilitation or visual note taking is all about, take a look at these YouTube videos.

 

Scribing 101

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Is there a right way to brainstorm?

Brainstorming during a training week-end of Se...

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Earlier today I received a call from a former colleague asking for pointers in conducting a brainstorm. In chatting with him, I began to ask myself, “Is there a right way to brainstorm?” My short answer is “yes!”

I’ve sat in my share of poorly run brainstorming sessions and you probably have too.  You know, the type of brainstorming where… one person dominates the conversation, or folks are so anxious to get their ideas out they don’t listen to one another, or ideas don’t connect to a unified problem, or worse yet, the brainstorming doesn’t lead to an actionable outcome.

So, what’s the right way to brainstorm? Here are some tips:

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