Category: Innovation

You would probably agree with me when I say: “Steve Jobs is one of the greatest innovation masters of modern times.” After all, his successes speak for themselves.

So, if you’re looking for the next big thing, it’s worth taking the time to study his principles in order to succeed.

Today’s post will explain Steve Jobs’ approach to innovation and inspire you to: think different.

How did Steve Jobs use innovation to save Apple?

When Steve Jobs came back to Apple in 1997 the company was close to bankruptcy. Other less knowledgeable individuals might have resolved to cutting costs and firing people left, right and centre to keep the company afloat, but Steve Jobs took a different approach. He chose to innovate instead.

“The cure for Apple AAPL -0.32% is not cost-cutting; the cure for Apple is to innovate its way out of its current predicament.” said Jobs.

We all know the results. Apple is now considered as one of the most successful and innovative companies of all times. Now even more than ever, innovation is crucial for businesses looking to survive and thrive.

The golden rules of innovation

The golden rules of innovation as applied by Steve Jobs can work equally for small and big companies, even for one-person enterprises.

The best part:

Those rules can help us as individuals to achieve our goals and live more satisfying and fulfilled lives.

Visual Scribing collected some of Steve Jobs innovative insights and created an infographic that hopefully will help you to “stay hungry and stay foolish” for innovative ideas.

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Remote Scribing – Visuals from cyberspace

You heard it here first! Remote scribing is now becoming more and more of a norm – especially with our clients abroad.

Eurofinance – The Economist Group case study

At the Eurofinance event – Treasure At a Tipping Point – in Vienna, we captured all the discussion remotely from London. Amazing! We followed the hashtag #eurofinance and transformed the key reactions from speakers and participants into illustrations which were then tweeted minutes later. Wowsers – it was high-octane stuff! Our illustrations helped communicate the Eurofinance message perfectly into a really fun shareable format. We therefore helped maximise the exposure of the Eurofinance brand. And most importantly our drawings piqued people’s interest and drew them in to the discussion. 

remote scribing case study

Our visual coverage of the event was then ‘shareable’ by other participants outside of the forum.

In essence our illustrations connected the speakers’ ideas to the whole World.

By the end of the day, “visual summaries” were tweeted so that everyone could have an overview of the entire event. Genius.

These illustrations are created in high resolution which means they can be used over and over again in brochures and/or on any other communication material. Importantly they can also be used to advertise next year´s event. So it’s a win-win situation.

remote scribing case study

Still not sure what we’re on about?

Remote scribing is a technique where the scribe is not physically present at the event but scribes remotely by following a live broadcast, social media hashtags or even text messages. It’s fast and it’s furious …but we love it! Contact us to find out more.

remote scribing case study

open-forum-2016-graphic-facilitation-2Above you can see the gallery created by our scribes for this year’s Bank of England Future Forum. This is a major event that connects the Bank of England to the wider public. These illustrations are really important not only because they make the financial services easier to understand, but they also stay in the minds of the viewers longer than lengthy banking text. Where people might not bother to read a document, they will always look at a picture.

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what is innovation illustration

Innovation has become a key tool to ensure the success of every company. From blue-chip companies to start ups everyone is innovating. But what is innovation? According to Jamie Notter, “it´s the change that unlocks new value”.

At Visual Scribing we work with innovative companies and we´re experts in helping our clients to identify problems and find the right creative solutions.

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The workplace of today spans different geographic locations and consists of a lively mix of people from various cultures, speaking many languages and following different social codes.

Even if everyone is fluent in English, business language is filled with nuances of meaning and is open to interpretation. For example, if a Brit says something “sounds interesting” he most likely means “I’m not that keen” but a German colleague may conclude that he is genuinely impressed.

There are countless anecdotes of words being misinterpreted and meanings altered and, as amusing as those stories are, retold over a cup of coffee, they can drive you crazy if you happen to lead a global team. “What you say can be magnified or minimalised based on your listener’s cultural context.” (Mayer)

Direct cultures

Erin Mayer highlights in her article on Harvard Business Network how different cultures communicate. The more direct ones use what is referred by linguists as upgraders – words that reinforce the statement, such as: this is totally unprofessional, your behaviour is absolutely wrong.

Less direct cultures

Other less direct cultures use downgraders, words that soften the criticism. For example: “We are not quite there yet”, when what you want to say is “We are nowhere near completing this”.

One can imagine all the humour and chaos created by people from direct and indirect cultures working together. Mayer gives the example of a German who almost loses his job because he misinterprets the suggestion by his British boss that he rethink the way he does something as a choice, whilst it’s more of an order along the lines “Change your behaviour right away or else”.

No one wants to be misunderstood. So how does one successfully communicate important strategies and content to an international team?

1. It´s helpful to know when to use downgraders and when upgraders.

2. Use of images can ensure that everyone is on the same page. Images support and clarify words and communicate on a universal level, transcending socio cultural differences.

Leading a global team visual scribing

Canon, world leader in imaging solutions, opened the doors of its Customer Experience Center in Germany, for its Future Book Forum 2015. Visual Scribing was there capturing the key points of conversations and presentations; and translating them into a massive knowledge wall full of engaging visuals.

Innovative ideas

A truly innovative idea is worth a lot. But it´s like finding a diamond among thousands of pebbles. How can you find out quickly which of your ideas are innovative and which are worthless?

Usually innovative ideas flow in loads. How can we found out quickly if the idea worth investing time and money in? At visualscribing.com we believe in “draw first ask questions later”. Sometimes one needs to see one’s idea on paper to evaluate it and make sure it’s truly innovative and that it’s progressing in the right direction.

The process of visualising innovative ideas quickly and evaluating them is called rapid prototyping. Rapid prototyping has been used successfully in design for a long time but is increasingly used to evaluate ideas as well. Scribing helps the process of rapid prototyping, saving time and preventing you from investing time and money in ideas that are born to fail. Rapid prototyping is quick (obviously!) and interactive – it’s a brilliant way to generate a lot of fast feedback and initial thoughts, which saves  a lot of time in the long run. Rapid prototyping encourages experimentation and discussion by way of images instead of words – people are allowed to think in all sorts of ways with the knowledge that in the end there will be common understanding of the main goal. On the whole, if a solution to a problem is found quicker it is likely to be successful – rapid prototyping is one of the best ways to do this.

We were invited by Atlantic Customer Solutions to graphically facilitate an event with a group of 50 talented professionals who came together to discuss ‘Personalisation of Social Care’. The environment was buzzing with innovative ideas. Everyone wanted to contribute and to find ways to transform the future of health and social care in the UK.

Our approach

We set up a big knowledge wall using magic whiteboards. Graphic facilitation starts by choosing the right platform for the visuals to come to life. Whether it’s on paper or on whiteboard, to find the proper place and size for your illustrations is crucial to making it as accessible as possible for your audience.

Having a breathtaking and inspiring view around us at the Digital Catapult Centre, we set about illustrating the ‘big story’ of the event as a mural in real-time – the participants were therefore able to see the development second by second, minute by minute, bringing to life innovative ideas that will transform the way social care is approached. As proof we can work in any adverse conditions, our visual scribe David drew on the massive glass windows of the building and often experienced vertigo!

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The drawings had a big impact and sparked conversation, discussion, questioning and photographs, and importantly captivated people’s attention.

Many of the participants walked away from the conference with a visual reminder on their mobile or tablet that would help with the development of digital solutions for our social care system.

Personalisation of Social Care event – visual scribing

photo by @paul_clarke / @MissMemarzia / @DigiCatapult

Innovative ideas mural

The ‘knowledge wall’ at the event had a longer life than just the event therefore: the discussion’s content was now on mobiles and tablets where it was tweeted, facebooked and pinned. These ideas become accessible to people who were not able to attend the event and were still talked about long after the event had finished. Or as one of the speakers tweeted “It was so wonderfully portrayed”.

Personalisation of Social Care – visual scribing