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Crossing the Agility Gap to become an Everyday Agile Leader.

Agile Leaders leverage the power of visual thinking to help them organize chaos and triage better (Becoming an AGILE LEADER:  The 11 Attributes of Agility to Change Your Relationship with). We are surrounded by visual thinking methods, technologies and approaches, but only a minority of managers, executives and CEOs and fully leveraging them for maximum agility.    Think about how some of these can help you:

Drawing Pictures.    (The Power of Pictures).  It never ceases to amaze me how even a simple picture can help a team move from disorganized chaos to organized chaos and engage a more whole-brained thinking approach.  I am constantly standing up at a white-baord or flip-chart and sketching a simple graphic to help synthesize a discussion about the workings of a system and the interaction of the elements.  A picture is worth a thousand words!  Be more agile by leveraging more visual thinking.


Mind-Mapping.  I started mind-mapping nearly 20 years ago when the first software versions started appearing.  Whenever I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the chaos of things around me or a complex problem to solve or an uncertain and ambiguous situation and set of circumstances to navigate, I mind-map!  Often just on paper, at least as a start which I may continue electronically later, and always have lots of blank sheets of paper with me.  Mind-mapping is so naturally powerful because it is highly aligned with how the brain works.  Yet, when I speak to groups of managers, executives and CEOs, asking them to raise their hands if they use mind-mapping, typically very few (if any!) hands go up!  Big mistake.  Check out these two extensive links at Wikipedia which explain mind-mapping and software options (many of which are free):  Mind Map and List of Concept and Mind-Mapping SoftwareBe more agile by leveraging more visual thinking.

Are You Taking an Interest inPinterest?  Initially, I didn’t take much interest in Pinterest (see my page at http://pinterest.com/drivingseat/) until I started experimenmting with it.  Now I love it.  It can become a story board for a brand, creating a visual collage of associated concepts and ideas, expanding of core metaphors.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, a metaphor is worth a thousand pictures!  It is a great place to accumulate visuals I come across on the web, as a library for later use which also retains the source.  It is so easy to “pin” and accumulate a visual archive.  Check it out and think about how you can use it.  Be more agile by leveraging more visual thinking.

Prezi.  I am just starting to explore Prezi which is a hybrid between mind-mapping and Power-Point for a new approach to presentations.  Check out some of the examples.  It really is a breakthrough finding the middle ground between Power-Point (which is too linear, despite some options to do hyperlinking etc) and mind-mapping (which is non-linear but not very presentational).  A prezi let’s you evolve a mind-map like approach to the flow of a presentation, giving us the ability to convey complex ideas with the simplicity of a visual storyline to get people thinking.  I can’t wait to understand and master its capabilities.   Be more agile by leveraging more visual thinking.

Traction Planning.  Traction Planning is a visual thinking approach for the challenge of translating agile strategy and agile execution into traction, avoiding wheel-spin.  It’s about getting and keeping everyone on the same page, doing full triage of our challenge in three dimensions and organizing chaos to find a path forwards which is prone to success, not failure, with the agility to adjust on the fly.

Think cockpit!

And, it won’t be long before our driving seat looks increasingly like a flying seat!  A Traction Plan helps us master the three-dimensional challenge In the Driving Seat of our business.  Traction Planning Technology OptionsBe more agile by leveraging more visual thinking.


About the Author

Mike Richardson - Pioneering Agility Expert, Author, Speaker, Facilitator, CEO Mentor, Coach, Peer Advisory Group Chair & Resource Speaker. Mike helps Everyday Agile Leaders develop an agility advantage as a leader, a team, an organization, a business and a corporation. He helps CEOs, Executives and their teams be more fully In the Driving Seat of their businesses and their lives, translating agile strategy and agile execution into traction, avoiding Wheel$pin. Mike is also an award winning Chair of peer advisory groups with Vistage International and Vistage Speaker to other groups, nationally and internationally.

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