Group Partners In 60 Seconds

A Growing Video Series Of Insights & Snippets

WITH HUGE THANKS TO THOMAS POWER FOR PUSHING US TO MAKE THESE FILMS

1. Let’s Not Solve The Wrong Problems Really Well

Sounds a good idea right? We constantly do solve the wrong problems because it’s too easy to look at effects rather than causes and easy solutions rather than thoughful and harder ones. We are often too busy to look at the whole picture.

Focus and investment on the wrong stuff happens all the time and makes a nonsense of everything. What can we do about it?
LET’S NOT SOLVE THE WRONG PROBLEMS REALLY WELL

2. Why Do We Call It Structured Visual Thinking™?

Three simple words that make all the difference. There’s plenty of people who will turn up and draw what you say. It’s completely not what we do. We use the process of visualising* to make hugher quality decisions parsed through logical models.

* We add the power of visualisation to the importance of structure and as a result we encourage much better thinking.
WHAT IS STRUCTURED VISUAL THINKING?

3, What Is It About The Power Of Pictures?

Words have been so abused and everyone we meet seems to have a very different meaning of the important ones. You know — innovation, quality, vision, mission, outcome, intention, purpose. By collectively drawing a picture we can force clarity — every time. We apply Structured Visual Thinking™ tools and techniques to create outcomes based on real meaning and clarity.

This enables much needed alignment and considerably reduced risk in leadership teams that are developing strategy and plans.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE POWER OF PICTURES?

4. The Intelligence Behind The Information That Makes It Work

The power of logical and structured thinking results in the creation of frameworks. They emerge from an extensive appreciation of the context and then calculating* what mechanism will help us answer the challenge.

Frameworks* are our tools for forcing the right debate. They create the arcs for strategic narratives and help us build business cases and make the smartest decisions.

* Frameworks are powerful ways for curating and collecting the content that’s needed to make the tough choices needed for strategy. We call this Framework Science™
THE POWER OF FRAMEWORK SCIENCE™

5. Getting To The Heart Of The Matter

Understanding how to make the right choices is a massive challenge for leaders in business today. It’s never been more complex and there’s no one right answer anyway.

The simple fact that visualisation and structure that contains logic can help us get to the better answer far faster, Think of this systemic approach to conversations as a 21st Century strategic ‘answering machine’.
IDENTIFYING WHAT MATTERS

6. The Art Of Drawing Better Conclusions

Symbolism and imagery reflected in real time back to the audience helps to explain to people that what they are thinking is not what they mean*. And that can be deadly.

People are not doing this to be mischievous — it’s just how we have become immune to common language. We also lack the bandwidth or interest (in many cases) to engage or dig into the meaning behind the language we use.
THE ART OF DRAWING CONCLUSIONS

7. Nodding — Overcoming The Biggest Problem In Business Meetings

The biggest issue we have in meetings and workshops is the tendency of people to say they understand something* when they absolutely don’t. That’s really not a very good idea and it’s potentially catastrophic for business.

Politeness or peer group pressure, call it what you like but we all see it. It is now so common that it appears in the top five of our biggest reasons why change and transformation doesn’t work.
NODDING — THE KILLER DISEASE OF THE 21ST CENTURY

8. When We Say Let’s See — What Does That Actually Mean?

Not rushing to the answer is a powerful stance. It means that over time (and in collaboration with the team using visual frameworks) we all get to uncover the right answer — together. Not one that had been conceived ahead of the facts.

Our belief is that many situations are compounded by the vested interest of consulants and agencies forcing their preferred soltions onto clients.

When I was a client I would issue the same brief to ad agencies, management consultancies and technology providers/advisors. Afew weeks later they would return and (no surprise) the response would be a 30 second TV commercial, six months of consulting followed by a software implementation or straight to a software or other ‘amayzing’ technology solution.
LETS SEE — THE MOST POWERFUL POSITION TO TAKE WHEN SOLVING COMPLEX CHALLENGES OR ACHIEVING OPPORTUNITIES

9. Vision — The Single Most Important Thing For The Business

It’s always an interesting one — senior leaders not having a single or clear idea of the vision for their company. What are they thinking? If you think about that there’s little wonder that sometimes meaningful change is so hard and motivation so low.

In this world there’s two things that a business needs. A clear idea of the vision of the future (and their place in it) and a high degree of preparedness.
GETTING TO A CLEAR VISION — CRITICAL

10. Will The Turkeys Vote For Christmas?

I’m not saying these industries (agencies/consultancies) are dead yet — but they will be very different very soon. And the smart ones know it. As data API’s bring the insight needed to dynamically create all the solutions of the trade (Decision Making, Copywriting, Media Planning, Creative Concepts) in an automated way clients will have direct access to this via technology.

ALL decision making will be distinctly different. Where does that leave the process of strategy? What would that word mean?
THE REVOLOUTION OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND MACHINE LEARNING WILL DECIMATE THE AD AGENCY AND CONSULTING INDUSTRY

11. Solving Visual Problems Using Visualisation

We are not making the problem look pretty. Nor do we just use visuals in workshops — see videos below. We use visualisation at every stage. Drawing images are incredibly powerful in real time. There’s a distinct reaction that’s difficult to achieve in any other way. We see people engage in very powerful ways as we tease out their ideas and start to solve the issues they have.

It’s especially valuable to force distinctions between important principles and definitions. It quickly shows us the gaps between what we know and what we need to know.

And why have we stopped teaching drawing beyond certain ages in school? Don’t get me going!

12. Making Better Decisions Through Data And Machine Creativity

Data is increasingly important to business. Clever technology is far smarter than us at making the kinds of complex decisions based on this data than we are. These calculations are needed in close to real time and humans are left in the dust by computers who have far bigger data sets.

Impartiality and objectivity are crucial princples in staying firmly on the side of the clients and the right answer, whatever that is, is the right answer.

I am not saying that human creativity is doomed any time yet but we need to be watchful. I believe true creativity — mutually valuable human/emotional inter-relationships will probably survive but much of the global complex decision making (a big domain for the consultancy industry) will be challenged.
NO DOG IN THE FIGHT

13. Starting With The Exam Question

The importance of getting at the right question (as we start) cannot be overstated — it’s so that we avoid solving the wrong problem really well. It’s the anchoring question that forces the right discussions and keeps us honest in every sense.

It’s quite shocking to me how many times we conclude that the question is wrong but its always a good thing. The fact is it’s a tool for focus and reflection and a big part of the process overall.
CREAING THE EXAM QUESTION

14. The Elusive Meaning Behind Strategy

Why we have a love hate relationship with the idea of strategy. The word ‘strategy’ is widely abused as a term and we are doing all we can to change that.

The word is not to blame but the concept that springs into peoples heads is. If people think it’s a business plan that lives in a drawer; if they assume it’s other peoples responsibility — it’s wrong and it kills.

Strategy has been described recently as the game worth playing, and historically as the art of using battles to win wars, wheras tactics are the art of using soldiers to win battles.
STRATEGY IS LIKE MARMITE

15. a Interactive Deliverables

Creating a Strategy is nothing without execution. Execution is simply a random act of ego without a thoughtful plan. The deliverables have a big part to play in the successful result of all that.

This video starts to explain the incredible power we have now with readily available tools for immerison and communication.
VISUAL TOOLS TO DELIVER STRATEGIC OUTCOMES

16. The Power Of Video & Animation In Telling Stories

Complex situations are now everywhere and we live in a 140 character world. Who are you gonna call? We use animation and video extensively to overcome these kinds of challenges.

The paucity of our attention is increasing and we literally have seconds to attract and engage our audiences. Techniques such as video and animation and gaming technologies have mushroomed exponentially ver the last few years as a result.
USING VIDEO AND ANIMATION TO TELL STORIES

17. Interactive Systems

Much of what we do is confidential but this example is now out of restriction. It is still a genericised version but will explain the main ideas. It shows how we can explain the vision and mission of a complex transformational program in simple ways to multiple audiences.

INTERACTIVE TOOLS TO TELL STRATEGIC STORIES

18. The Infinite Power Of Interactive Storytelling

This shows how we can explain the changes to complex processes very simply and in an educative fashion. All of these are central to success and changing the behaviours of many people within a transformational program. The result needed to be communicated in simple ways.

NO LIMITS TO STORYTELLING USING STRUCTURED VISUAL THINKING

19. Strategy Is Winning

There’s a lot of discussion about what strategy is and every time we meet anoher practitioner we hear another refinement to the definition. Very few of them are wrong but they can be very narrow.

We believe that you can tell what strategy is when it isn’t present. Demotivated staff, reduction in revenues and growth and a general lack of interest in the business being displayed by the leadership.

Complacency, Ignorance And Fear.
STRATEGY IS WINNING

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