As if being in the same room with a lot of great people wasn't enough, last week I had the chance to enjoy one of the best strategic/brainstorming sessions in my career. Besides some great content (and lots of fun at shaping it up), I was completely blown away at seeing how an apparently small change can immensely help going the extra mile.
The usual scenario for brainstorming sessions is all about having people sitting in a circle, with someone stepping up to the whiteboard and jot notes. The "on steroids" version of it is having a professional note taker, with great visual skills, managing the whiteboard for your group: I'm afraid you have to see it to believe, and I was skeptical myself when Tricia of Collective Next started filling a wall-sized whiteboard with funky colorful diagrams, pictorials and drawings. It took me less than a few minutes to be completely sold on the idea: everyone was focused on letting ideas out, and Tricia was amazing in capturing the audience input, translating it into great looking notes that soon looked just like a mind map on acid. The moderator didn't have to summarize what people were saying, and participants didn't have to wait for him to jot stuff on the whiteboard: the pace was just incredible, and the resulting notes were catchy, self-explanatory and complete. Just awesome.
There is an entire web site devoted to graphic facilitation, but it's really hard to understand what this is all about until you happen to be in the same room with one of those guys. Maybe this video would provide a better idea of what I’m talking about:
Think about it for your next meetings: I'm sure you'll be happy to buy me a drink in exchange for the hint.