Working Visually to Jumpstart 2023

Subscribe to Working Visually on LinkedIn to get the newest monthly edition delivered straight to your inbox!

Preparing for the new year looks slightly different for every leader, but one thing is top of mind: how will you successfully implement your 2023 strategy? The key to this success is building excitement, alignment and buy-in across your organization.

Approaching this groundwork from a visual perspective pays dividends down the line. Whether helping your organization navigate a digital transformation, educating your workforce on change management initiatives or helping your sales team strengthen their pitch, working visually can help to rapidly align objectives and establish a common language across your enterprise. At Throughline, we’ve found that empowering teams to see their contribution to an organization’s success builds trust in leadership and unlocks individuals’ true potential.  

How can I work visually to prepare for 2023?

Harness your team's talent to align their efforts and energy with your vision for success. While there are multiple approaches for doing this visually, key strategies you can use between now and the new year include:

  • Graphic facilitation to build common understanding of your goals and objectives
  • Collaborative workshops to foster discussion and creative solutioning

Graphic Facilitation: See the Conversation

Graphic facilitation sessions offer a nimble meeting framework for leaders seeking to promote innovation or change without losing sight of the people it impacts. The sessions take collaborative workshops a step further by incorporating graphic recording—where an artist illustrates a meeting in real time. This visualization technique taps into something innate; because the brain processes imagery so efficiently, graphic facilitation aligns stakeholders to a shared goal as they watch the key discussion themes unfold visually in real time.

For Example: As CIO, you’re juggling the rollout of multiple new platforms, updated security procedures and novel data-powered developments in the new year. Each of these components is incredibly complex and requires the collaboration of many stakeholders. A graphic facilitated session brings those stakeholders together (either virtually or in person) to discuss prioritization, highlight information gaps and identify common challenges, all while garnering a sense of ownership among participants as they see visual representations of their ideas. Your stakeholders leave with a strong understanding of how they can contribute, while you gain deeper insight into what is needed for buy-in and the rollout of your strategy. The workshop also produces a valuable artifact: the visual capture of the conversation’s key points, which can be used as a reference for future alignment, problem-solving and ideation.

At Throughline, we harness graphic facilitation for our yearly State of the Union session during which the entire company can clearly visualize our goals and vision for the coming 12 months.

Collaborative Workshops: Visually Guided Conversations

While graphic facilitated sessions combine the power of real-time visuals with engaging workshops, bringing in a professional graphic recorder is not always an option. The discussion and team building spurred by a collaborative workshop still offer tremendous value to leaders, particularly when the conversation is structured around one or more visual frameworks. Central to a well-designed workshop are human-centered design principles, which put participants and their needs front and center. In as little as an hour, tailored, visually augmented exercises can produce the common understanding and buy-in you need to confidently kick off your 2023 objectives.  

For Example: As CIO, you’re seeking to maximize the value of your efforts and investments without inflating your budget. By working with a firm like Throughline, you can develop a visual framework (for virtual or in-person settings) that guides your team through prioritization exercises, allowing you to map alignment between your budget and your objectives. The visual framework helps spur meaningful conversations that ladder to those selected objectives. This results in actionable feedback, a tangible case to gain support and—as with graphic facilitation—a lasting, easily referenced documentation of your strategic discussion in one place.

By using a tailored visual framework to guide your discussion, participants can confidently engage with and build a strong common understanding of your objectives and vision.

As a leader, you aim to create enduring positive impact across your organization. The tools you use to engage your team and stakeholders should deliver the same. By harnessing visualization, you unlock greater and more meaningful buy-in with the teams you depend on to make your vision a reality.

If you’re interested in using visualization to jumpstart your 2023, reach out! We’re always excited to help another leader succeed.

Nick Duchesne

Program Manager