What is Graphic Facilitation?

Strategic Visualization Story Mapping

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graphic facilitation definition relating to visual art, especially involving drawing, engraving, or letter. To make easier or less difficult; help forward a process

What is Graphic Facilitation?

Meetings, organizational change, and consensus building can be a real drag if not properly planned and executed. Particularly in this era of hyper-accelerated technology and virtual connection, it’s more important than ever to go beyond the traditional paradigms for leadership and tap into new ways of communicating with and inspiring our teams.

Graphic facilitation is an innovative and highly effective way to forward your objectives, understand your organization and your clients, and ask questions in new and creative ways. 

What is graphic facilitation and why does it work?

Put simply, graphic facilitation uses visual art to help teams and individuals move their ideas and conversations forward. When you’ve got a big meeting coming up and you want to make sure it’s truly impactful, or you’re planning for a major organizational pivot and you need to make sure everyone’s on the same page, graphic facilitation can help you leverage visual thinking strategies to produce the outcomes you’re looking for. 

Our visual sense takes up 50% of our brain’s resources. Because of this, pictures truly are worth the proverbial 1000 words. In neurology, this is called the pictorial superiority effect. If information is presented orally, after 72 hours we’ll only remember about 10% of what we heard. But when a picture is added, recall reaches 65%. Our brains are wired to find graphic facilitation compelling.

Graphic Facilitation is more than just adding a few pictures to your PPT slides. It is a visual thinking process that helps to create understanding and get everyone on the same page. Through graphic facilitation, your team or meeting attendees can begin to see patterns and combine ideas in new ways that allow you to see things more clearly, innovate, and problem solve together. Often, when you can see a pattern, you can understand a problem better and uncover new solutions to that problem.

What does a graphic facilitator do?

The graphic facilitator’s role combines understanding of group process, meeting facilitation, and agenda design, and so their contribution begins at the start of the meeting or change planning process. Your graphic facilitator will partner with you in clarifying your objectives, designing a process to fulfill them, and integrating visual learning processes and experiential meeting design. 

A skilled graphic facilitator understands the framework of a conversation, can visualize a conversation, and apply graphic models that help others do the same. They know how to listen objectively for the story that wants to be told and can tell that story visually.

When do you need a graphic facilitator?

Your graphic facilitator will partner with you in clarifying your objectives, designing a process to fulfill them, and integrating visual learning processes and experiential meeting design.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to the ways graphic facilitation can be applied to your team’s needs. And, we know from experience that graphic facilitation can deliver especially high ROI in any of the following scenarios:

  1. Virtual, In-Person, or Hybrid Meetings & Events
  2. All-Hands Company Meeting
  3. Organizational Pivots
  4. Scenario & Strategic Planning
  5. Change Management
  6. Creating Cultures of Collaboration
  7. Brand & Product Idea Generation
  8. Organizational Development & Team Building
  9. Futurecasting
  10. Synchronous & Asynchronous Ideation & Brainstorming

Read how graphic facilitation helped Coca-Cola and SmartWool manage big organizational changes.

Not sure if graphic facilitation is what you need? Let’s talk and figure it out together!

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