What Makes Real-Time Visuals a Strategic Multiplier?

Ken HubbellActionCraft

Our ActionCraft work with leadership teams builds upon strategic drawings to capture the essential ideas and create a coherent framework from possibilities. This real-time feedback loop expands thinking by fusing fidelity to the messages or conversation with inspiring visual metaphors of the deeper, unstated potential. When we get it “right”, these experiences and images stand out as strategic stories that transform the way both planners and other partners understand and act upon the key ideas to produce impact. Often, these images are deployed as graphic roadmaps toward big goals.

In this portfolio summary, Ken Hubbell curated the Top Action Storyboards that, in each case, helped drive strategic action or positive downstream outcomes as teams used the graphics to communicate key messages (why “this” matters now), advance a consensus priority (how we’ll shape a congruent response), or generate deeper dialog with leaders (what this context means for us going forward?).

Top: Hubbell with strategic shifts mural, Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation.
Bottom: Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau strategy gameplan.

LeapXL, No-Code App Factory, Little Rock

Ken drew this image during a real-time presentation at The Venture Center for a curious audience that was unfamiliar with the new technology.

The real pain reliever that LeapXL’s no-code tech delivers is speedy business applications with great customer mobile interfaces. As a start-up, Leap continually has to demystify its core technology and shine a spotlight on the big benefits in the words of one new partner: “This workflow automation you do is really needed across our bank and industry.”

Swedish Hospital Foundation, Seattle

Ken’s drawing from an ideation session with philanthropy and clinical leaders at the hospital captures the dream of Next-generation cancer innovators: transform the future of cancer care and treatment through a new generation of philanthropists.

Hospital Foundation leaders used the graphic as a springboard for a deeper focused philanthropic case for an all-out investment in cancer research to leverage late philanthropist Paul G. Allen’s personal bequest of $20 million to Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI). The Center has launched and philanthropic campaigns are ongoing.

G-Hub, 2020 Leadership Transformation Series, Milwaukee

Ken’s drawing from a virtual ideation session with social sector leaders graphically captures the best practices for leaders moving toward consulting careers and out of institutional roles.

This image captured a set of effective tools and sensibilities related to the journey of serving as an impact consultant. It was included in a digital “practitioners toolbox” to help guide strategic career transformation.

MDC, Inc. Passing Gear Philanthropy Initiative, Durham

Ken’s live drawing from an ideation session with dozens of philanthropy leaders highlights shifts in prevailing views that must be in place to effectively reduce community disinvestment and social and economic disparities for people of color.

The drawings complemented lessons learned and continue to inform the peer network through web stories: Southern foundations convene for inaugural Passing Gear Philanthropy Institute | MDC | MDC.org

Strategic Visioning Collaboration: Scott Family Amazeum and Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville

Ken’s live drawing from an ideation session with museum leaders reconsidering the possibilities for activating green corridors that connect and enclose these popular cultural centers.

The museum leaders used the graphics as a springboard for new collaborative programming strategies that evolved into active strategic plans for Convergence, a four-acre community playscape, which will be called Convergence. This public space is designed to be a family-friendly play space and will be opened in 2023.

“This unique partnership brings together two different cultural institutions, both passionately interested in creativity, curiosity, and pushing the boundaries of inquiry that allow people to be explorers in nature while actively learning about the many intersections of art, science, and nature.”

Achieving the DREAM national college conference, Nashville

Ken’s sketch from a conference presentation for community college leaders captures new holistic student support movement.

One of a series of visual storyboards, these images became the illustrated conference highlights set to expand digital narratives shared with larger numbers of faculty and staff across the nation.

Blue Cross Association, Western Leadership conference, 2018

Ken’s drawing from a health-improvement conference presentation on designing the future of health care by IDEO Founder Tom Kelly.

One of a set of conference graphics, these images were provided to leaders as visual catalysts for evolving innovative — and effective — human-centered prevention and treatment strategies.

MDC achievement award, Durham

Ken’s drawing captured the non-profit’s transformational history and impacts in the U. S. and southern Africa during the era of former President David Dodson.

This visual montage commemorates effective change-making tools and place-based leadership and equitable policy development supported by the organization. Digital versions will be used in institutional reflection, though the original became a framed art piece given to Dodson upon retirement.

We can help you put powerful ideas into action through visual graphics, concepts, and storyboards. Like Disney’s imaginative creative processes, ActionCraft makes a group’s content and conversations rich and memorable.

“Disney Imagineers still use this technique when designing a new show or attraction. In fact, it can be adapted and applied to any step-by-step process involving designing or implementing the customer experience—from front desk interactions to over-the-phone product queries. Storyboarding is particularly effective because the mind naturally tries to encapsulate a fact, an experience or a new idea in story form. Therefore, the key to effective communication is to embrace our innate desire for storytelling, not to resist it.

And, if we look at things from a leadership standpoint, it’s important to realize that the effectiveness of your communication will largely determine the effectiveness of your employees. Valuable information, presented in a compelling manner, can empower and inspire, whereas mediocre information can cause paralysis, improvisation and disengagement.

It is far more powerful to enable your employees to see the result of what you are asking them to do, especially since 65 percent of us are visual learners, according to the Social Science Research Network.”

Storyboarding: A Communication Tool to Foster Employee Engagement | Disney Institute Blog