RSAnimates

Thanks to my brother, I've just come across a wonderful series of 255 shorts on You Tube. The one I watched first was Daniel Pink talking about on performance and rewards in the RSAnimate series.

Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us
Adapted from Dan Pink's talk at the RSA, it illustrates the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace.

You can skim through the whole list of 255 vidoes to find the 'RSAnimates' and find several that are directly relevant to organization design and development, and many non-animates that are also worth watching.

What's wonderful about those is the RSAnimate series is that as the person is speaking you are watching a cartoonist/graphic artist illustrating the talk in real time. He/she is drawing at the same speed the speaking is speaking. It's rather like graphic sign language.

Last week I was at a strategic planning session with NO PowerPoints. Instead there was a graphic artist recording the discussion on huge sheets of paper. The whole notion of graphic facilitation is fun – each artist (facilitator) has a different style and the Center for Graphic Facilitation has a website awash with comments, examples, and points about this mode of communication.

I see in my roam around that they are also called Visual Practitioners who state:

We are a powerful community of creative leaders from around the world, who share a common passion for bringing information and ideas to life visually. For over a quarter of a century, business people, artists, communities, governments, educators, and individuals have been leveraging the power of our Visual Practitioner community of graphic recorders and graphic facilitators.

And they are also called visual recorders. A kind of 101 article on the topic explains:

Graphic facilitation is a type of "explicit group memory" — a way of capturing the thoughts of group members in real time and making those thoughts available to the whole group. Practitioners of graphic facilitation (called "graphic recorders" or "graphic facilitators") use felt marking pens and large (4-feet-high and 10-to-15-feet-long) sheets of butcher paper, sometimes in combination with pre-made templates, for organizing group members' thoughts. The templates can be either loose and free flowing or relatively tightly structured.

So is there any difference between graphic recorders, facilitators, and visual practitioners? I don't know the answer to that. But I do know that watching the artist at work as a group is speaking is a great experience. What you're seeing is the artist interpreting the discussion which acts to give a different perspective on what is going on and the connections that can be made between topics. Obviously the artist doesn't get it in one go and I was interested to read in the Seven Tips for Graphic Facilitators that it's a good idea to bring stick labels to cover spelling mistakes and then correct them.

Turning to Amazon I looked at Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity which is just about to come out, and added it to my wish list.

If you're designing a group meeting and you've never tried out graphic facilitation or taken the risk of no Power Points it's well worth the experience. Look at one of the RSAnimates and you'll get a feeling of why this is.

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