This article was published on the dooodleledo website, but I have decided to post it here as well, as visual thinking is one the crucial competencies of a nowaday's Projet Manager. Please join our next Doodleledo meeting in Gdansk on 30th January 2015. More details here.
Visual thinking has been described as seeing words as a series of pictures (Wikipedia). For me visual thinking is the ability to work effectively with the complicated ideas. By unlocking the power of visual thinking we can overcome problems, think more creatively and critically, make better decisions and expand our perspective of what's possible (Visual Thinking Magic).
In times of increasing complexity, competition and constraint, we cannot rely on yesterday’s ideas, products and ways of working. Today’s leaders in order to improve performance need to stimulate creative thinking and unleash the creative potential in themselves and in their teams. IBM study reveals that creativity is the most important leadership quality followed by integrity and global thinking – 1500 corporate leaders, from 60 nations and 33 industries were pulled on what drives them in managing their companies in today’s world. Creative leaders are more prepared to break with the status quo of industry, enterprise, and revenue models.
“Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart”
— Mencius (Meng-Tse), 4th century BCE
“Albert Einstein believed that the words and numbers — as they are written or spoken — did not play a significant role in his thinking process. Geniuses are constantly making novel combinations. They are always looking for ways to combine and recombine things and ideas in new ways. What’s surprising is that the things they are combining are not new or revolutionary at all — they simply haven’t been combined this way before. When thinking visually, you are constantly combining and recombining things in unique ways. You are looking at the same world as everyone else, but seeing something very different by using pictures to fuse together surprising combinations of thoughts, things and ideas” – Visual Thinking Magic.
Although visual thinking is not limited to drawing, drawing plays a crucial role in developing the visual thinking expertise. And what’s the most important, everyone can draw through practicing.
The whole framework can be found on the quoted several times here Visual Thinking Magic website, which I find very interesting and encourage you to explore in more details. For me personally, apart from competencies, mindset and so on, the environment is very important. How to inspire ourselves and the people around us to be more enthusiastic, creative and passionate? How to create the space excel?
Let’s start building a culture promoting high creativity ( Source: The Handbook of High-Performance Virtual Teams, page 46; adapted from Nemiro 2004):
- Ideas valued
- Trust, high level of honesty
- Constructive tension
- High level of challenge
- Supportive management
- Sufficient resources
- Understand work style
- Ideas dismissed
- Unconstructive tension
- Lack of challenge
- Lack of Freedom
- Status quo
- Insufficient resources and time
More on creativity can be found in my previous post.