Turning Big Ideas into Inspiring Collaboration

Ken HubbellActionCraft

At ActionCraft, we transform complex, leadership conversations and planning into full-color, inspired impact.
This spring, we’ve been using big visuals to support leaders in finding pivots to a better future, sharing a convincing message of change and new possibilities amidst the Covid crisis and loss, and redrawing their bold roadmaps for 2023 and beyond.

Working closely with G-Hub, Inc. on Conversation 2022, we helped Gary Hubbell visualize an intensive series of adaptive leadership retreats.

Framing an inspiring experience that engages people.

Setting the stage for bigger collective thinking is important to generate meaningful attention and an openness for new thinking with others. To help communicate the story of possibilities for Conversation 2022, we developed a series of conceptual storyboards. Here are some highlights:

Capturing the intention of the learning series to help leaders step out of complexity and rigid schedules into a new, yet uncertain platform required simple and eye-catching images. Hand-drawn sketches support the idea that what is coming is unfinished and alive with potential.

Real-time storyboards provide a focus on the central opportunity.

At the Conversation 2022 retreats, Ken Hubbell helped facilitate dialog and synthesize the main ideas that emerged. On large murals, these visuals provided a set of anchor images to support collaboration among members who were shaping a new collaborative environment. We started the with a story about the power of arriving in a liminal place between two worlds—the familiar and the unknown.

Co-creating a welcoming space for two days of collaboration started with a Zoom presentation from a futurist in London, England, Sue Agyakwa. Using her native Ghanian traditional message, she encouraged the group to trust the encounter. We moved to a central mandala image that incorporated each person and every intention in one big picture.

Large images help the concepts sink in deeply.

We used the murals to spur design-thinking about adaptation and innovation. Using an ecological concept of common patterns of change helped the group discern the right action during disruption. We repurposed the sketch as an ideation map to support exploration of the typical ways that leadership teams respond in disruptive contexts. These examples illustrate how strategic thinking and learning are enriched with clear visuals.

For the exploration of adaptation, we used content from “Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems.”

Take-away iconic images sustain the meaningful content.

As the tone of the retreat evolved into the final reflective planning, we discovered an inspiring picture to honor the work of the participants and evoke the spirit of unfolding that framed the entire retreat. Each image was later incorporated into an illustrated roadmap for the retreat members to help them move successfully to new actions.

Using visual metaphors is an effective way to reflect the inner dimensions of changemaking and leadership. The resulting lotus image compressed the major dynamics of the retreat into an easily remembered icon.

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