Want people to get on board with a big strategy? Back away from those keyboards and start drawing...

By Michael Taylor on Sep 23, 2012

The first 99.9% of human existence had no Microsoft word or PowerPoint presentations. We relied on seeing vs reading to make sense of the world around us. For most of our existence we were in a constant struggle between hunting to eat or being hunted and eaten. Our ability to size up a situation visually with everything seen together in context was the difference between life and death.

In spite of our evolution as visual creatures our modern business world uses documents, bullet points, slides and all sorts of linear ways for 99% of our communicating. That makes us highly tuned visual creatures who generate rivers of data drowning each other in pages, slides and bullet points. There are numerous studies that show the way we communicate is so inefficient that 80% of corporate strategies are never executed and less than 20% of the content we want to communicate is understood or remembered.

At the risk of becoming the master of the obvious I suggest making anything that is really important (like a big strategy) a visual exercise. By making a strategy visual (download sample pdf) you are delivering important understanding in the most natural way humans can receive it; in a single view with all components in context so people can make connections and internalize a “scene.” Try this: describe a scene in your life, a memory snapshot that puts you in a place, a time, or a situation. Describe this scene as if it were a scene in a story, which has some kind of meaning to you. Now replace this scene with the last PowerPoint presentation you sat through, or the last document you had to read. Which one was easier for you to recall? Which version are you more connected to?

Michael Taylor

Written by Michael Taylor

Michael Taylor specializes in making the value of companies with complex sales crystal clear. He has sold and led over 150 domestic and global strategic marketing accounts including: Johnson & Johnson, Godiva, North Highland, IBM, Intercontinental Hotels, AmeriSource Bergen, VeriFone, TSYS, Thomson Reuters, Qwest and many others. Michael blends the fresh approach of a creative director with the business instincts of a CEO to help Symmetrics Group use fresh ideas and creative approaches that unify sales and marketing teams and increase customer results.

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