A picture is worth a thousand words. Visualizing processes and ideas can help break down elaborate problems. This is what we focused on the Magnet’s Visual Thinking workshop last Friday.
The Jongens van de Tekeningen/Flatland went through the principles of this way of thinking with a trial group of 20 people. First we learned to focus on the very basic shapes of objects with activities such as ‘reverse Pictionary’, where they would say a word (from laptop and telephone to responsibility and privacy) and we would draw it in a matter of seconds. Afterwards, we were asked to draw the process of making steel and focus on what makes Tata Steel unique – first in a sequence of post-its, and later in A1 sheet of paper. Throughout the drawings you could see that ‘circular economy’ is rooted in the steel making process. But it was much more than that: smiley Hisarnas, blast furnaces with Hitler mustaches, happy client drawings and a lot of train rails. Although we had a common task, what each group chose to focus on made each drawing unique.
It was a fun afternoon. We developed skills that have the potential to be very useful in our daily life at Tata. Bottom line, you don’t have to be Van Gogh to draw whatever it is you have in mind. Focus on the basic shapes, keep it simple, and don’t be afraid to try.
by Ines Carvalho