Visual Cognition

The growing adaptation of visual facilitation, graphic recording, visual scribing and visual thinking has become quite apparent in the mainstream of business development and change. If you’re not familiar or confused by these terms or processes, it probably would be wise time to research these unique practices.

As the thINKologist, even I, myself, find these terms sometimes confusing or misaligned¬† to the given task at hand. Practitioners in this field who utilize these dynamic skills are often adjusting the language or description depending on the application or the client’s perception. It can be quite confusing for the uneducated who may hear one term then another when the same function is being performed. There is a need for clarity and unifying terminology or categorization of these collective offerings.

As a solution to this slight dilemma, I have come to use a term I call “Visual Cognition”. The mental process to conceptualize, learn or problem-solve (cognition) through the use of visual tools. In my preference the key visual tool is the use of the thINKing Canvas. A visual media that employes the combination of text and images to increase clarity, uncover opportunities or define possibilities of a given issue.

Visual Cognition is not the creation of yet another new process or an adaptations of any given current format, but merely trying to identify the collective processes which now exist and employed for conceptualization, problem-solving, learning and strategic thinking. The fact is when we employ visual tools to assist ourselves or others in the process of thinking we are then practitioners of visual cognition. By any other term, name or moniker this is the process we are performing.

So when the next time you want to drop an intellectual bomb in a group, just inform them when asked, that you’re a facilitation specialist in the field of visual cognition allowing yourself the opportunity to take center stage to describe your skill set.

Imagine and envision your future.

The thINKologoist.

Before I Brand

Branding. A very illusive prey. Many have attempted to find what branding is, but few can contain the wild beast. It seems to me that branding has become a catch-all phrase far-reaching outside of its original description. It has become as varied as marketing has and even interchanged with this term. Worst yet, “brand” is becoming a verb for agencies to help create an identity.

Stop! What? Brand is not my identity? No.

Brand can not be printed, boxed or worn. It has no color, smell or taste. The more complicated thought is that your brand is not owned by you, the company nor an organization. Brand is owned solely by the viewer, the consumer of your offering. Your brand is their perception and emotional connection to your identity or the identity of the offering. So creating a brand, to me, is the wrong statement. What you create is an identity, purpose and value. This is not brand, branding or even marketing. This is ideation at work.

Ideation is that process before brand, branding, marketing and even advertising. Before you can have customer loyalty to a brand you must have an identity in order for a brand to grow in the minds of your customers. Ideation is the process of developing an idea or identity.The best part of ideation unlike branding, is it can look down the path to who you want to become. For me, branding is about the here and now and not there and tomorrow. That’s ideation.

So if you are thinking about “Branding” your business by hiring a brand consulting firm, first find someone who can help you with the ideation process so you know what your brand can become and the branding signals that will work best.

SM (Social Marketing) Rant

Ahh. Lunchtime in the company kitchen presents so many opportunities to engage in meaningful conversation about the weather, sports, family encounters or, on those very special occasions, the rantings of the “Not So Politically Correct” mouth piece.

To transcribe his ranting would be easy, but the emotion would be lost in the text. So, with marker in hand, “Rant Scribing” began. Here is a humorous look at one man’s views on social media (SM).

Where Do Good Ideas Come From

Have you ever wondered when someone coughs up a good or great idea, where in the heck did that come from? What were they thinking to get such an idea?

“Where in the world did you come up with that?”

Well, a wonderful visual scribing piece was created from Steven Johnson’s presentation on this very subject. If you don’t know who Steven Johnson is, he is the author of an incredible book called “Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation” and his take is amazing, especially when RSA scribes it as a video seen here. Enjoy, I always do.