Concern about whether simple drawings will look professional is high on the agenda when I speak with clients who work in a corporate setting.
In this interview Gillian Christie, Senior Investment Writer at Baillie Gifford, shares how she uses simple drawings (visual thinking) at work, her motivations for doing so and the feedback and results she is experiencing.
From a purely personal perspective, I was inspired by my autistic son.
So, on the one hand, I hoped I would pick up something that would be useful for my personal life, but on the other, I was keen to see how visual thinking could be applied in a work context. Though to be honest, I was a little sceptical that it could, unless you were an artist! I am happy to have been proved wrong.
How are you using what you've learned?
I am a writer, so my natural inclination is to think and communicate in words. Prior to taking this course, with little in the way of artistic ability, there was no way I would have even considered sharing anything I had drawn with anyone in a professional context.
That has changed! Not my artistic ability, per se, but my confidence in sharing hand-drawn graphics with my colleagues has. Within work, I have used visual thinking to brighten up agendas, to create visuals for meetings, for my own personal note taking in lectures and to create an outline of an article I was ghost writing.
One of the highlights so far was a follow up exercise for the course which challenged us to use visual thinking to problem solve. Each month, I compile a monthly summary, which I distribute widely by email. I knew I wasn't happy with it, but I couldn't articulate what the problem was and therefore I was struggling to see how I could make it better. The process of drawing it out really clarified what the issues were – too much information and no visual hierarchy to guide the reader – and so helped me come up with a solution as to how I could make the summary better.