Thursday, July 23, 2009

Visual Thinking

We all get spam. But in the workplace, it's a different kind of spam - vendors hoping to prove their usefulness with the provision of information. Jen Spencer might have it right:

"We all know we are in the Information Age, constantly being bombarded through email (sometimes in the form of newsletters - ha!), tv, blogs, ads, marketing messages, and the list goes on and on. This barrage of information often leaves us in a continuous state of being overwhelmed, making it difficult to focus, see clarity, and find the mental space and time for innovation.

Check out Jessica Hagy's work at Indexed.

I happened upon the Visual Thinking Movement, through a local maven and crusader, Sunni Brown. Visual thinking ' the common phenomenon of thinking through visual processing using the part of the brain that is emotional and creative to organize information in an intuitive and simultaneous way.'

This method of working is being used by all levels of professionals to connect facts and insights with visual images and representations, allowing for a higher level of understanding and recall from the audience to which they are speaking. Graphic recorders and facilitators have shown their prowess at events like TED and SXSW Interactive.

Most of you work in creative environments and practice this work for your clients in one form or another. Images are powerful and words can create magic -- whether you are marketing a message, creating an ad, designing a logo, the details matter. And, too many details clutter.

Visual thinking marries creativity with your thought process. The emerging result can bring about a different cognition for yourself and others.

And, the great thing is: anyone can do it! You don't need to be an "artist" or "creative" to practice visual thinking and implement visual thinking skills in all aspects of your life. As Austin Kleon says, there are only 5 shapes (dot, line, circle, square, and triangle).

Check out Visual Notetaking 101 offered by VizThink

How can you use visual thinking?
1) To cut through the noise to hear the succinct points
2) Steal a creative moment in everyday meetings, conference calls, and presentations
3) Sell a complex or simple idea through to a client
4) Describe a process or desired outcome
5) Laying out a project and timeline
6) Understanding cogs in the wheel
7) Goal Setting
8) Self-Expression

Training offered through The Grove + VizThinkU
The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Picutres
Ed Emberley's Drawing Book: Make a World
Handbook of Pictorial Symbols

Give a damn, get a lot. - by Jessica Hagy of Indexed (image above)

Lastly, if you would like to enhance and develop your skills and talent and achieve a higher level of leadership and satisfaction in the work you do, Jen Spencer Coaches is here to support you in your greatness.

My niche: Companies and individuals that provide creative services.
My clients: Men in their 30's and 40's going through transition and evolution AND driven women

Jen Spencer Coaches wants to hear more about you. To receive a complimentary consultation, email or call Jen.

Enjoy your brains (left and right)! And experience a wonderful summer..."

And that's Jen Spencer and her wonderful, unexpected Spam.

Hope you all enjoy thinking about Visual Thinking.
Have a creative day!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Global Collective

Heavily inspired by The New Socialism and Us Now was this week's MYT: The Global Collectivist Society. Click on the picture at right to see it bigger.

New projects are being worked on by many people from many different places, all enabled by the web. It's awesome to think about the power of collaboration and of a working business model that's run by "group think" and everyone taking equal ownership.

Two heads are definitely better than one, three are better than two, etc.

The MYT is a collaborative effort between myself and another Miami Ad School planner here at the agency. Part trend hunting/part cool shit, it's objective is Making You Think. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

keeping things honest

I got a compliment the other day from a colleague:

"Thanks for keeping us honest."

It's hard sometimes to make the time to actually look at all the information we have to position a brand, identify a target, and set true objectives. But it's always easy to make decisions if the information you have is insightful.

Find the insights planners, they are out there.

Monday, July 13, 2009

tone and tenor

This morning on NPR, they had a segment about wire taps - that hearing it straight from the source with the original speaker's demeanor, tone and tenor, was more useful than a recreated scene from a crime or case. It made me think of qualitative research - that actually conducting qualitative in-home interviews, man on the street interviews, or ethnographic style projects, would pay forward tenfold in making the case for a particular strategy.

The reporter said that 50% of communication is done with tone and tenor. I think 50% of our time spent hypothesizing whether or not this creative will work OR testing it once it's done should be spent just talking to consumers, hearing it straight from the source, asking the right questions, and making notes on their tone and tenor. Because if insight can make or break a criminal case, it surely can be used to make or break a creative one.

Plan on.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Insight Chasers

on a long drive today, I started to think about what if...I started my own agency. Thinking about filling a niche that traditional agencies try so hard to reach while setting myself up for long-term planner wisdom and connections planning 101, I arrived at the name (and purpose) of Insight Chasers.

now, if I can only harness the power of the creative collective online via social media, maybe this 'agency' could be virtual, of the future, and accessible to anyone.

read The New Socialism by Wired and you'll get a better sense of the collectivist community I'm referring to.