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Graphic Recording

Use this framework to record and maintain interest in an event

A picture has always been worth 1000 words.  It has become popular following Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur’s book, the Business Model Canvas (2008). This showed how building blocks, pictorial if possible, can help us understand business models.

Graphic recording, sometimes referred to as live illustration or visual scribing, is where an artist creates a real time picture of a live event. It is a novel way of capturing the ideas of a meeting and making it more memorable and inspiring.


Capturing the event pictorially isn't easy. For a start, the graphic recorder has to be a good artist. They also have to be a great listener and quick at their work to capture the ideas before they are lost. This requires high concentration and stamina.


Take for example a roundtable meeting that was held to discuss customer experience. The graphic recorder heard lots of examples of trends and captured them in a cartoon. Key issues such as customer retention were illustrated as somebody being pulled in by a magnet and personalised experiences were illustrated by a tailor fitting someone's suit.  Such images carry a punch and are memorable.


In the workshop the group moved on to discuss challenges and successes in customer experience. The importance of bringing senior leadership on board was emphasized with a money bag on top of a corporate building.  A helicopter airlifting someone out of a crowd was underlined with the caption “it is important to hire people with the right mindset”. The helicopter was removing someone with the wrong mindset.


This led to a third stage in the discussion which covered creative ways of generating high customer satisfaction.


The roundtable itself was a useful and engaging discussion. People who attended got lots out of the meeting. The graphic was circulated and provided a strong reminder of the event. It locked ideas into people's memories, it maintained interest in the subject, and it drove lots of actions.

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