A while back I met a guy in a castle who was quite possibly the most loud and articulate person I have met in the last couple of years. This man, who by the way can quote complete “Shakespearean sonnet’s without one drop of lubricating spirits, has recently finished writing his book about ENGAGEMENT. The SHAPES or thinking frameworks in his book have been cultivated over a period of 15 years. Check it out here.
The book shares a clear outline for different ways you can ENGAGE and build enduring relationships with people. These “Shapes of Engagement” help you to consciously designing & stage experiences, make smart choices with well thought out connective principles and make you aware of interpersonal boundaries to truly engage with others. All seen from the eyes of a man who has reinvented his own purpose… moving from local church minister to international business consultant.
Reading this book inspired me to rename what I do for a living. It became very clear to me that the work i do is rooted in the intent to ENGAGE. The visuals I make need to facilitate dialogue or challenge the norm. By making past present and future VISIBLE you ignite a connected conversation. This means that by designing the way you ENGAGE through a VISUAL LANDSCAPE you empower all participants to look across boundaries, spot energy or even see missed opportunities. All because the ENGAGE through a shared visual story.
This shift in focus translates to me being an engineer of VISUAL engagement.
The great thing about (finally) articulating what you do is that once it is out in the open, you need to define what is good and what is bad about the VISUALS or no… the ENGAGEMENTS that I create. Redefining my focus leads to a better frame to judge my self by. Where before I was looking at the drawing or presentation I now look at what the effects are of all my visual efforts on the way that people engage others? Suddenly a drawing is not the end result anymore. My success can now only truly be measured by a system that can gauge the way people react to an engineered visual and how that visual engagement drives interaction and eventually decision!
So thank you Scott Gould… for introducing me to your Shapes and inspiring me to start saying : I am a Visual Engagement Engineer!
After so many years… This is where I am at.
I make IT* Visible.
My thinking and my doing. I do however keep running into the same problem over and over again… I get stuck in the thinking part. Which is a bit weird, because my thinking usually results in a lot of visual notes & sketches. Lots of doing… without defined direction.
The reason for sharing this image with you now is that this image symbolizes the end of a phase. I have found my drive and am looking to balance all that thinking with more Doing. The new Time2Draw course I developed, the virtual narrative spaces I am developing, the book on event design I have co-written, the book on Images of Design Thinking was involved in and many more Visually Yours Projects are steps towards the Story of VISUAL.
All those projects are ways to Look at sharing…More VISUAL.
“The one vision is realized by the many steps.”
I have been living with a vision for the better half of my life and I can say with confidence and humility that the many steps can only be made consciously when you have a story to guide them. I envy the ones who just live one day at the time and are not burdened by the itch of something they want to build or create over TIME.
My VISUAL path has lead me across many different story lines by both individuals as well as organizations. They all seem to want to move…but are all looking for that light to follow. That story you want to be a part of. That general direction that gives focus to the clear goals you need to be running towards. What I am seeing a lot, and have been uncovering as a running theme within the work I do for others, is the movement of Change. We try to walk the line that moves between a present point A and a pre determined area B, which we generally fashion to look very appealing. We love to SEE a road or sequence of steps that help realize the milestones of the inbetween. This sequence of planned steps between two points in time is how we have learned to tell and share stories. We start to tell the story by inviting your audience to a stage (your context) , describe the characters (or actors) and introduce a hero’s challenge. The quest is set.
You can move up and down that storyline and make your past, present and possible future VISIBLE for all to see. Now here lies a challenge.
In the land of storytelling we are exploring different ways to touch, move or inspire people. But alongside we are challenged by a multitude of tiny steps that are all part of a system. A structure that is getting more visible every day. We are living IN our own storylines… our Twitter and facebook feeds become a line that is influenced by so many different things, that it is almost impossible to be a good curator of your own STORY.
In a new economy focusing in on experience and transformation as the main value of trade, we see that the audience (or customer) is being taught that it is okay to want to have a Choice in where to start or even participate in a story. Pretty soon we will not be interested in lectures anymore… we want to see and experience the whole story at once…
This is where the good storytellers take a leap out in front of the rest. When you are or live IN a story, you will be able to start anywhere… no sequence, no numbers… just a story and infinite angles…
more to come
After almost 5 years of thinking and translating & creating the #EVENTCANVAS, there is now
- an initiative grown into several partnerships,
- a workbook and an internationally published book by BIS
- The start of a community of excellent and n0w CERTIFIED Event Designers,
event narratives that challenge the way we design events…
- a growing database of visual narratives articulating Change, Framing stakeholder perspectives giving event planners a storytelling platform to realize TRUE VALUE
- The start of a decoding venture resulting in a better understanding of the mechanics of big events like the Olympics, Eurovision or even Comicon or Halloween! Making prototyping for success easier by learning from past success and failures.
- The event industry (and beyond) is noticing the value of thinking ahead and being more conscious of & connected to your stakeholders. The EventCanvas Methodology is slowly gaining ground, taking the conversation to a more abstract level, whilst staying in touch with the practical sides of creating EVENTS.
- and more canvasses coming…;)
That being said I am very glad to announce that Visually Yours has formally joined forces with Ruud Janssen & Roel Frissen to form an entity serving the need to think about value and different stakes on any level of the event industry. With the book held high and lots of amazing people on our path, we work together to nurture this methodology so it may grow into a way of thinking & working, to be adopted throughout the entire event industry.
The next milestone in this evolving story has also been announced!!!
We are very glad to welcome Angeles Moreles Vallejo from Spain , Gerrit Jessen from Germany and Terri Breining from the United States . They are grabbing the role of local champions driving this common language for events forward and becoming experts by teaching others!
The Event Design Collective is a partnership with international entrepreneurial individuals who are helping to spread the language of high level event design.
A language that has little differences every where in the world, but is driven by one goal… to design events worth attending!
Verleden jaar ben ik uitgenodigd bij de vorming van een alliantie. Een samenwerlking gedreven door een passioneel pleidooi van Kevin (blauwe shirt). Door krachten te bundelen wist hij genoeg mensen te bewegen om samen te kijken naar een belangrijk en moeilijk probleem dat voor komt in de verzorging van zwakzinnigen. Het gaat over iets heel erg leuks… iets lekkers… het gaat over koken!
Vorig jaar December zijn we begonnen en we zijn nu lekker op weg. Humanitas, Ilionx & T-Mobile zijn aan het kijken hoe ze een pad kunnen creeren dat leidt naar de realisatie van een applicatie die de clienten en begeleiders helpt bij het samen leuk en lekker koken.
We hebben samen de muur boven bij T-mobile (neergezet door Visually yours) vol geklat en zijn stappen aan het maken met de doelgroep. Het zichtbaar maken van deze alliantie en verandering is erg leuk… vandaar ook de naam…;)
Elke keer maken we weer een nieuwe stap. Van Reden voor meedoen naar organisatie, verhaal en roadmap. Het geheel begint al aardig wat in beweging te brengen… Hou dit maar in de gaten!
When I started to write about this book, I realize that I have known Rianne for almost 25 years. She started out as a teacher, turned into a client and now is a person of interest and a peer when it comes to handling the dynamic process of Innovation. When she asked me to help her translate the 80+ interviews that took 5+ years to distill into a visual model that would take you into the world of innovators… my answer had to be yes. Not only because I had been interviewed at the time when I was developing JAM visual thinking, but also because of my good friend Guy Hafkamp who passed away in 2013. When reading these interviews it is a treat to recognize your own image but it is even nicer to SEE and read who others are and how they take place in the grand landscape of innovators.
The process of making the translation to the model that is explained in the book was not easy. The 4 images give you and idea of what innovators do in certain places of change and for different stakeholders. Of course you are never just one image. Rianne uses these images to create tables of recognition at her sessions. When you sit down at a table where everybody contributes to innovation in the same way the conversation starts up very easy. It is like a warm bath of innovative likemindedness…;) The model helps you to become aware of the diversity that lies in the innovation process and the position to occupy in this landscape of change.
Making this model visual not only helps to explain these interviews, but it is a great way to take others along in your innovation practices and how they connect from the VALUE to the FUTURE and PURPOSE to EXPERIENCE.
The skethces above are not in the book…They give you a glimpse into the process of translation. You can acquire this great work of academic persistence at: https://www.boomhogeronderwijs.nl/kernproduct/1357/Images-of-Design-Thinking
The ladies of Roquefort
did an absolutely amazing job of making the whole book a delight to read! When you are an innovator (or think you are ) GET THIS BOOK! It will help you to get a better grip on your contribution to innovation…anywhere…;)