Draw everything

On many occasions, words are not enough to explain a complex concept. And even if they seem enough, you might discover that if you sketch your thoughts in a meeting, you and your colleagues are not on the same page at all.

No, you don’t need to be an artist. If you can draw a rectangle, a circle and an arrow – you are in! The good news is, there is no right or wrong way of doing it!

Why bother?

Some say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I think there are some other good reasons:

  • this approach lets you step back and look at the problem conceptually before diving into details
  • if you are already talking details, you can then find connections that were not so obvious to start with
  • it helps everyone align and spot major thinking flaws sooner rather than later
  • you remember the details of the meeting for longer
  • drawing during the meeting makes you pay attention all the time (no daydreaming 🙂 )
  • it’s fun!

Sometimes, when I am acting as a facilitator, I draw the key thoughts on a whiteboard before the meeting, so it helps me remember what I want to say and it helps other to remember that later. Win-win.

This week, I was pitching a concept of a lean organisation. A good representation of what I wanted to talk about was… a pipe. No artistic drawings, just a couple of circles and arrows. This helped me explain why aligning a number of development teams, is important for a large software platform. It worked perfectly.


Give it go! Information is beautiful.