Articulate strategy well visually
Visualise your strategy using charts, images and diagrams
Clarify and simplify
One of the main ways of communicating strategy is through the use of diagrams, illustrations, images, charts, tables, maps, matrix, models and many other visual features. Either alone or combined with verbal and written communication the purpose of visualising is to simplify strategy and make it clearer for people to understand. Therefore if we want to “articulate strategy well” we need to be able to make the best use of visual methods.
Always be visualising
We can visualise our strategy at any point in the process. That means during the strategic review stage, the strategic thinking stage, the strategy development stage, and of course for our various presentations to key stakeholders.
Just one iconic visual…
It can take just one image, one illustration or one chart to transform what might have been a dull and uninspiring meeting into a highly engaging and productive one. People remember pictures easier than they remember words, but insightful visuals don’t just happen. They are created and creating them is a process requiring knowledge and expertise along with a good deal of collaboration.
Getting people together to discuss strategy takes people away from their normal jobs and for off-site meetings there are also the added associated costs of travel, hotel accommodation, meeting rooms, catering and so on. But despite the often impressive settings and the need to get value, very often workshops, meetings and even presentations are unproductive because the events have not been adequately thought-through.
Successful events are created and with that in mind, some companies plan months ahead to have everything ready weeks before. Others are still putting presentation slides together late into the night before, or even arriving with no preparation at all. Generally I have found that the better the advanced preparation, the better goes the event.
Go from being overwhelmed to becoming an enthusiastic visualiser
It may be fair to say that one of the things that initially puts many people off strategy is the high use of diagrams, flow charts and the many other visual features. Go through any strategy text book, or strategy related social media post and the chances are that there is one, or there are many visual elements. The problem of course is that to understand the visual, we need to understand both the concepts and the context. Of course when we do not have this understanding, the whole experience can quickly become overwhelming. That is when people turn away from strategy.
It does not need to be this way. With the right support anyone with a genuine interest and reasonable effort can:
- visualise strategy
- talk about the meaning of the visuals to an audience
- write about the meaning of the visuals in strategy and strategic documents
With this capability you can confidently take control of your meetings, get people engaged in meaningful conversations and move towards making better decisions.
Want to articulate strategy well visually? Keep it simple
The ultimate aim of communication is understanding. The people we are talking with, writing to, or presenting to need to understand what we are saying. If they don’t ‘get it’ we have failed. Unfortunately very often people don’t understand and the reason why they often don’t is that too much effort has gone into creating an eye catching visual that looks attractive, rather than one that people can quickly understand the meaning of. For this reason, a simple hand drawn visual can be more helpful than an elaborate and colourful infographic.
Visualising strategy is a specialist area that can be complex and time consuming and therefore difficult for many companies to do themselves inhouse. That is why at Hargreaves Marketing Ltd we offer a range of services to do much of the preparatory work for you.