Making our Mark: Drawing Together to Enhance Collaboration

Co-creating drawings helps teams enhance their systems thinking abilities by really seeing the big picture. A group of people talking around a whiteboard is an effective way to share ideas across a team. Imagine how much richer the conversation is when everyone on the team has a marker in their hand and is actively contributing! Graphic visualization is an important tool for talking about new ideas, generating insights and developing shared understanding. In a team context, drawing is a thinking tool rather than an artistic endeavour. When everyone participates in creating drawings, all team members can see how things fit together and what mental models are at play in defining the situation. And, by drawing together, the team is collaboratively creating meaningful records that are being validated and updated.

Come along on a visual adventure into how teams can collaboratively visualize ideas and make sure that everyone at the table has a voice. In this workshop, we will warm up with some basic doodling skills practice. No drawing experience is required to take part in this session: if you can hold a marker, we can teach you the skills needed to put your ideas on paper. Together we'll consider the ways that collaborative drawing can be used to enhance group work, and we will share practical activities that you can take back to use with your team for setting the stage, gathering information, and sharing stories.


Outline/Structure of the Workshop

Intro: Collaborative face-drawing (ice-breaker to learn names, get a marker in everyone's hand) (5 min)

The building blocks of visualization - quick skill building practice for lines/simple shapes/U-V-O people (5 min)

Exercise - Drawing Together - Using simple symbols, individuals draw the story of a journey they've been on and then have a partner interpret it. This technique can be used for describing complex systems/relationships and gaining insights for shared visioning or retrospectives. (30 min)

Exercise - Co-creating a Drawing - using a 3 stage approach (Initial individual doodle, break into components, create group drawing) to individually and then collectively sketch a shared system. (30 min)

Learning Outcome

Participants will be able to:

  • explain how collaborative drawing can be used to facilitate team discussions and enhance group work
  • build (and teach) simple doodling skills to encourage everyone to participate in collaborative drawing
  • faciltate a practical collaborative visualization exercise with your team

Target Audience

anyone on a team

Prerequisites for Attendees

While having some experience facilitating team discussions might enrich this experience, there is no required prerequisite knowledge for participation.

schedule Submitted 3 years ago