Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Restroom Iconography X: Big Basin Showers


Just a simple graphic, but one that makes me very happy.
I'm a man of simple pleasures (really...).
A convertible car, a pepperoni pizza, and a long... hot... shower...

You can even take away the first two, but don't deny me my shower.

Anyway, I am always delighted to see this icon, even if I don't need it.
It's a symbol in the best way.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hoopla in the Redwoods

Tricky Dick via hues

Angie and I were out in the Redwood Forests this weekend - hiking, drinking wine, playing with fire, and making Hoopla.
It was a good weekend.

I have to recommend Hoopla to anyone who is looking for a boardgame that demands multiple skills and is not overly competitive. It's just plain fun.

Hoopla combines pictionary with password with charades and more.
The picture above is from my clue for Angie to guess, "Richard Nixon".

For a game that tests verbal, visual, and kinesthetic skills - I have to recommend Hoopla.

Friday, March 27, 2009

How to Make a Stakeholder Map

Last week, I helped a team create a Stakeholder Map.
I've had this idea in my head for awhile, and have done a few on my own - but this was the first time I had a team create one for a presentation.
We presented it today, and it was really effective. The one above is an example:
  • Lines indicate relationships (solid = strong, dotted = weak, none = none).
  • Size equals relative size of the client.
  • Color equals the client feeling about the product or service (green = good, yellow = medium, red = bad, black = no feeling).

The idea is that you can sell a so-so product to a customer with a great relationship, or a great product through a so-so relationship; but anything red puts you at risk... so you need to fix it.

In our meeting today, an executive said, "Why is the customer disconnected?"
Because, this is an internal product, we replied.
The image stuck in his head, because he later said, "No. Internal = External. We need to start thinking about the customer."

A connection that could have easily been buried in a table or text spoke to him through the picture. And gave us an important insight.

This is, I think, a good idea with a mediocre execution. I give it a 8/10 for utility (it communicated its point very well) and a 3/10 for aesthetics.
I'd love to see someone build a stakeholder map template with a strong design sense.
If you do, please send it to me!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Restroom Iconography IX: La Concha, La Paz

If you've been following this blog (and, let's be honest, you probably haven't been... you've probably ended up here by some freak accident - it's okay, I welcome you...) then you know that I'm a bit of a restroom icon geek.

I love the surprise of finding a restroom that uses a non-traditional icon for males and females toilets.
Sure, it takes a minute longer for me to find the right one, but I'm engaged.
That's a plus!

This is an icon from La Concha Resort in La Paz, Mexico. You may have noticed that it's not a Mexican motif. In fact, it's Thai.
La Concha Resort is filled with art and sculpture from South East Asia. I'm not sure why, but I enjoyed it while I was there.

Regardless of origin, even I could figure out that this identified the ladies restroom. I turned around and went to the mens room. But only after I snapped a picture. I like the colors. I like the woodgrain. Most of all, I like the fact that someone took more than five minutes to think about what image would mark the restrooms...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Training Hall of Fame

Last year, KLA-Tencor's was inducted into Training Magazine's "Training Tiop 10 Hall of Fame".

It's a pretty cool honor, putting us in the company of IBM, Pfizer, Booz-Allen Hamilton, Ritz-Carlton, and Ernst & Young.

Recently, we hung our plaque from Training Magazine, so I had to take advantage of the opportunity. Stephanie (official title - training goddess) took this photo of me with the plaque in my office.

While I wish it were a cup or glass (like the Stanley Cup), so I could drink out of it... it's still cool.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Situational Leadership II Brochure

In the past four years, I've learned two tools that changed my perspective on management - DISC Profiling and Ken Blanchard's Situational Leadership II (SLII).

If you have any interest in development, you find the SLII model invaluable.

Do yourself a favor, go to this link right now and download the brochure.
Read it, read it again, sleep on it, and then read it once more.

There is not a day that passes where I don't use the SLII model.
Download it now and thank me later.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Modern Art of Presenting: Presentation Reboot

Nancy Duarte shows the power of design grids

Last week, I attended "Presentation Reboot" - an event that featured Nancy Duarte (author of Slideology) and Garr Reynolds (author of Presentation Zen). Nancy and Garr are the two leading proponents of a new and quickly growing school of presentation design.
If you don't own their books, you should buy both immediately.

Nancy discussed her passion for story before having us do an audience analysis and then determining our story arc. Story is the root for most design decisions, in Nancy's view, and I agree.

Cognitive science show us that the brain loves story. In fact, the brain loves story so much that it will make one up if it doesn't exist. 
Think about that - if you don't determine your story, your audience will... and it might not be the story you want!

Garr Reynolds models Presentation Zen

One look at Garr Reynolds' slide set tells you that he isn't your usual business presenter. Garr lives and works in Japan and has clearly embraced the aesthetics of the culture.
Having spent 8 years in Japan myself, Garr's work resonates with me. I've read his blog for a few years and loved his book. Seeing him model the principles he preaches energized me and the rest of the audience.

While Garr isn't an ideologue, he definitely comes from the "Tee-shirt" school of presentation.
The "Tee-shirt" school says that a slide should look like a tee-shirt - one sentence, one picture.

My table mates practice the art of contrast

The folks at the workshop were buzzing from the start and kept buzzing to the end.
We did a number of exercises that allowed us to practice some of the principles that Nancy and Garr covered.

My key takeaways:
  • Any presenter can connect with any audience, if they try (as our exercise showed - yes, even Richard Simmons with Mafia hit men).
  • That slides, like billboards, should be a 'glance' media.
  • Slides are slides - not 'slideuments'.
  • A grid system will add power and coherence to a presentation.
  • The importance of 'naked' presenting - both Garr and Nancy share themselves on the stage, and their presentations are much stronger for that.
  • See more at presentationzen and duarte design.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Saraswati: Goddess of Knowledge and Music

I was taking photos of a project in my office a few weeks ago, and snapped this picture of a statue on my bookshelf.

This is Saraswati - the goddess of knowledge and music, creativity and literature.
Her name means, "the one who flows". Originally, she was a river goddess, but her name came to represent the flow of knowledge.

I learned about Saraswati when we were living in Asia. I'd looked for a good statue for a few years, but never found one I liked.
My friend Ranju offered to look for one when she went to India a few years ago. 
She ended up bringing me two: This one, which stays in my office, and a similar but heavier brass version that stays in my home.

Less than 6 months after Ranju gave me these, I recieved an offer to become a trainer for our company. Saraswati has been with me ever since.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Nothing Else Matters...

I heard some terrible news today about a friend and former colleague.

He committed suicide a few days ago, after having his wife die suddenly in December.
I had not heard the news about his wife, so it was a double-surprise for me.

He was a good man - friendly, smart... with soft-spoken sense of humor.
One of my most vivid memories of him comes from when our work group had to repair a working relationship with Samsung in Korea. He was new in our department, but immediately volunteered to go in front of the customer and they there for two weeks. He did a great job in Seoul and, quite literally, 'took one for the team'. We all admired that.
And he always, always spoke fondly of his wife. I'm not surprised that he had trouble dealing with the loss.

Why do I write about this here? I suppose one reason is that I can't not write about it. While I'm not comfortable revealing his name, I have a need to honor him in some small way.

Another reason? I'm as guilty as anyone of focusing on all the distractions of life: weather, executive reviews, the upcoming baseball season, and the economy... 
But his situation and his reaction is a reminder to me that our greatest investment - our greatest reward, and risk - is in that thing we call love

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fun with Acronyms

This morning, I created an acronym - MoVVeRR - for what I'm calling the "Team MoVVeRR" workshop.

  • M - Mission
  • V - Vision
  • V - Values
  • R - Roles
  • R - Responsibilities

It's almost impossible to have an effective team without clarity on in all five of these areas, which makes this one of our most important workshops.

I have to admit, I'm a sucker for a good acronym. This isn't one of my best, but it works...
That's good enough for me!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What Is A Good Day?

I think a good day is when I can climb out on the end of a branch and not have it break.

Or in this case, a vine that I'm swinging from in the Daintree Rainforest in Northern Australia.

I was reminded of this yesterday as my colleague, Ken Wells, and I swapped roles in a 2-day class that we co-teach.

It's pretty disorienting when you do someone elses job for a couple days. It's like when Angie and I swap sides on the bed (well, it's like that except that it's a whole lot different...).

Maybe I'm strange, but I like taking on something new. I like disorientation (you can't be found until you're lost, I like to say). I like being flooded with new images and sensory input. I like making mistakes.

As long as the branch doesn't break. And it didn't break.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Statistics for Smartasses

Shoot Down Stupid Ideas with the Skill of a Japanese Archer

Are you tired of sitting through endless meetings where some dope tries to bury you (the audience) in data and then convince you that his pile of numbers holds meaning?
I'll tell you, I've seen people try to build the Eiffel tower out of numbers that have the strength of wet paper towels.

Unfortunately, I've never really had the skill or tools to challenge those folks, until now...

I'm just completing the first statistics class of my life, and you know what? It's kind of fun!
My eyes have been opened to the flimsiness of the conclusions that I, and others, have drawn from databases, spreadsheets, and surveys.

I now have three questions that I'm going to ask about every conclusion I see drawn from a big pile of data: 
  1. Where's the histogram and correlation coefficient that supports your conclusion?
  2. Did you run a t-test, chi-square, or some other test to validate your inferences?
  3. Does you test pass the .05 level of significance?

With these three questions, I'm guessing that you will become a corporate martial artist - able to shoot down the worst ideas without removing an arrow from your quiver.
If it turns out they know what you're talking about and have the answers to your questions? Well then, everyone wins, don't they?

Friday, March 13, 2009

VizThink 09 Highlights: Icebreaker

Connections with friends you've never met...

As a facilitator, I love to collect icebreaker activities. I enjoyed this one that was used at VizThink 09, and thought I would share it.

There was white drawing paper covering each table. We were asked to write or draw a few things about ourselves on the paper. I think we were given 3 minutes.

We then looked at our tablemates words/images (there were approx 8 people / table) and drew connection lines between any items that were the same (or where there was a connection).
For example, I drew a connection from my time in Japan to a Japanese woman across the table.

At the end of the exercise, you stand up and observe all the connections you have with people that were strangers 5 minutes ago.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Google Black Belt...

Technically, not black belts... (Yokohama Chinatown, Japan)

Yeah, I know... they're not black belts. But they are martial artists (and really cute!).
I took that shot during a Chinatown festival when I was living in Japan - but that's not really the point.

I'm taking a statistics class right now. It's the first statistics class in my life, and I'm doing okay, no thanks to those who write statistics papers. 
This is a topic where the phrase 'baffle them with bullshit' couldn't be more appropriate. I'm a pretty smart guy on most days, but reading a typical stats paper makes blood come out of my eyes.

If you want to learn about statistics (even if you don't) you have to work at it... or be really good with Google or (fill in your favorite search engine name here).
This class is convincing me once again of the power of 'just in time' learning.

I've always said that you don't need to know everything, you just need to know where to find it.
Well, now we all know where to find it (the Internet), we just don't know how. The avalanche of information can be overwhelming.

Well, I love the detective aspect of a good search, so I've been a search addict since I could first surf. I remember the joy of discovering 'HotBot'. I was eventually dragged away by Google, but I'm not strictly monogamous.
Over the years, I've developed some search chops and some cool tricks, and this weekend they all came in handy as I had to work on four papers simultaneously.
I have 3 computers in my home office (did I mention I'm a geek?) so one was in search mode, one was in word/excel mode for homework, the third was blasting tunes by Love Psychedelico.

With google and my favorite tricks, I could get the information I wanted and complete the assignments. 
Just a typical day in computerland, until one of classmates said, "You must be a genius, or really good at statistics". No, on both counts, I assured her.

But I told her that "Advanced Web Searches" should be a full credit course at every school. I don't know how people get by without that ability. 
For me it's a core class in a program on "Learning How to Learn".

So here's my tip of the day for you. When I first discovered it, no one seemed to know it. I've seen it published once recently, but still too few people know.

When you search for something, add pdf or ppt after it. 
For example, "emotional intelligence pdf".

That filters out a lot of the crap, and delivers you pdf files, which tend to be written by universities or government organizations. They have a better signal to noise ratio than your average web article. 

Try it. You may even become a black belt!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

VizThink 09 Highlights VII: John Wards' Kinesthetic Modeling

John Ward leading our workshop

I saw some outstanding talks at VizThink 09, and met some really interesting people - but the greatest takeaway from the three days was definitely my introduction to Kinesthetic Modeling.

The workshop was led by John Ward of Many Minds. John is one of the nicest men you'll ever meet. I'd been introduced to John last year, when he was doing the graphic recording of the Leadership Challenge event I attended in Sonoma, so I was happy to see him again.

I knew that John was on the agenda at VizThink, but apologized to him - I wouldn't be able to attend his workshop, because I needed to see another one.
John, gentleman that he is, scheduled a follow-up session for myself and a number of others who also expressed disappointment at missing his session.

So, Tuesday night we all gathered to learn about Kinesthetic Modeling.

I am a camera...

John issued each table of 4 a bag of 'holy scrap' - odds and ends that possess no inherent meaning - and asked us to dump the bag on the table. Then he walked us through a quick process:
  1. Each of us were to grab 3-4 pieces that 'spoke to us'.
  2. Organize the pieces in a manner that said something about us
  3. Let the other members of our table tell us what they see.
  4. Share what we saw and meant to convey.

My arrangement is displayed above. My tablemates saw a swimming pool with aliens.
I saw a collection of technical hardware (I'm an engineer), that were very toy-like (I still love to play), and I arranged them into a camera (my favorite toy, tool, and mode of expression).

That was interesting, but the big project was yet to come:
Our team project called for us to model the current economic situation and its impact on the visual thinking community. To say we were skeptical would be an understatement.

The four of us modeled in silence. It was really bizarre to model and utilize resources with no conversation. I had no idea what my colleagues were making, so just did my own thing and tried to stay out of their way.

After about 15 minutes, John asked us to stop.
We were left with what you see below.

The current economic situation and its impact on the visual thinking community

John asked us to walk around the table, commenting on items we didn't construct, and write down what we saw in those objects. After we did that, the people who constructed them told us their intention. We were aligned on many items, but very different on others.

Our next step was to create meaning from all the observations, and capture our key thoughts.

Our thoughts...

You'll see that our thoughts were quite profound for such a quick activity:
  • Our beacon (the spoon) is surrounded by barriers.
  • The community is outside the wall.
  • Shelters from the storm look frighteningly similar to traps.
  • Walls had been built through fear, but they are keeping the community from the 'gold'.

I don't think I've ever seen an activity bring that much alignment on a complex issue so quickly.
I'll be trying this one with my internal teams in the near future.

I would highly recommend that you attend one of John's workshops and see this methodology for yourself. It's very powerful.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bad? How about some help?

How can I tell that the economy is getting worse?
Well, occasionally, I listen to KNBR sports radio while I'm commuting.

Remember when MTV first came on and they had no advertising?
They ran all kinds of awesome animation to fill the spots where advertising bucks should have been.
Ahhh... the good old days, when music and cutting edge animation were on MTV.

Anyway, over the past few months, I've noticed a similar trend on KNBR and today it become obvious.
The radio station has been running regular advertisements for advertising on the radio.

Read that again, slowly, I'll wait.......................
The radio station has been running regular advertisements for advertising on the radio.

Yep. Like those big billboards that say, "Advertise On Me!!!"

Today, the radio station ran a car advertisement that highlighted 5 reasons to buy a car.
It ended with "this ad was brought to you by your Northern California Radio Advertising Bureau", or something like that.
It's an interesting concept. I wonder if they approached the car dealers and said, "You've given us so much money over the years that we want to return the favor in these tough times"?
If so, that's kinda cool...

So, what are you doing to help out your best customers? Anything?

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Wise Learner...

The other day, I saw this quote:

The wise investor turns nothing into something.
The unwise investor turns something into nothing.
Ignoring the fact that it's really difficult to be a wise investor in today's economy - this quote immediately took a turn in my head:
The unwise learner turns something into nothing.
The wise learner turns nothing into something.
How many times have you had friends or co-workers who couldn't seem to learn from their mistakes? I know a bunch.
It's not surprising. It's really painful to learn from your mistakes.

I just spent a couple hours today watching videos of myself present a class and, ouch...
There's solace in the fact that I got great feedback for the class (they loved the content and my teaching), but the fact is that there's a big gap between the level I aimed for and the level I delivered.

Video is such a great tool for coaching (or self-coaching).
It's valuable for identifying those 'nothings' that you want to turn into 'somethings'.
At the same time, it's just as valuable for finding those 'somethings' (the things you're doing well) that you don't want to lose.

Do both, and you become a wise learner... and a wise investor... in yourself.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Facilitating with Card Decks

If you've missed it, Dave Gray (of XPLANE) and I have been having a dialog in the comments section of my XPLANE Discovery cards post. The conversation has rotated around facilitation card decks like the Discovery cards, IDEO's method cards, Roger von Oech's Creativity cards, etc...

Dave made an interesting comment that he thinks these card decks derive their inspiration, "not from playing cards, like Pokemon, Tarot and the good old Bicycle deck, but rather from recipe cards. Each card is essentially a recipe, to be pulled from the deck when it can be useful and executed".

I think he's on to something, but I would suggest there's more to it than that.
I rarely think without a pen in my hand (the running joke at work is to hide the white board markers if you want to shut me up... but it doesn't work!), so I put together the above diagram of Facilitation tools.
The diagram includes the card decks I use most often, plus kinesthetic modeling (building models with clay, etc) and photo facilitation (using imagery to stimulate thought and conversation).

As you can see, this conceptual model has 2 axis, with 4 points.
  1. One continuum spans from tools that are Mysterious/Provoking at one end, to tools that are Clear/Reminding at the other end. Oracles at the top, Plain English at the bottom.
  2. The other continuum spans from Directing (the tools are pushing ideas and stories at you) to Listening (the tools are pulling ideas and stories from you)

Based on these continuum, there are four types of tools:
  • Recipe Cards - I love this analogy from Dave, and it fits the model. These cards are clear. They might be reminding you of possibilities that you already knew. They are directive, with some level of instruction. Recipes shouldn't be mysterious and - typically - aren't meant to be inspiring. They might inspire you, but that's a result of how you use them - not a design of the recipe (unless your recipe cards are fragmented and you can mix and match - but then it's not really a recipe). Everyone who uses a recipe should get a similar process.
    I would put the IDEO, ThinkPak, and 36 Stratagems cards here.
  • Externalization Engines - These are tools that are meant to pull stories and ideas out of you. But they're clear. They are not meant to require deep interpretation. These are often cards that are sorted into 'yes/no', 'hit/miss', 'good/bad/neutral' piles.
    The Leadership Challenge Values Cards are a perfect example. They are a set of cards with values listed on them. The user does a quick sort to identify and prioritize their values and then discuss them. It's what I call an externalization engine.
    I would put the XPLANE Discovery cards here as well. They are used in a sort, they pull stories and thoughts from the user, and they are very clear. The cards do provide some direction, so I push them closer to the center of the grid.
  • Muse Devices - These are also intended to pull stories and ideas from the user, but these are NOT clear. Everyone will have a different interpretation. These are, basically, oracle devices.
    I place Kinesthetic Modeling here, along with Oblique Strategies (thanks Dave! I ordered two sets. I also see there's an iPhone application for them) and my Tao Te Ching cards.
    Photo Facilitation sits in the middle of Muse and Externalization, because the images are concrete (clear) but can be interpreted differently (provoking).
  • Mentoring Devices - First, I'm not in love with the label 'Mentoring', but I'll live with it for today. Mentoring devices are directive, but not necessarily clear. They are for people who need a push towards possibilities, not old methods.
    Roger von Oech's card decks fit here. A line like "Ask a fool - to dislodge assumptions", is directive, but counter-intuitive to some, and begs the interpretation of a 'fool'.

Why did I spend the past two hours building this model? That's what my wife just asked me when I tried to convince her that it was really interesting...

Well, as a facilitator with a box full of tools, I like to have a framework that helps me decide when to use a particular tool.
Second, a framework like this helps me decide if I have full coverage from the tools in my kit (it looks like I do).
Finally, this framework helps me work with others - both my peers, and more importantly, my clients. Discussing this model with a client would allow me to decide which tool is appropriate and obtain their buy-in.

Well, it's a new model, so feel free to kick the tires and rip it apart. 
What tools am I missing? 
Is there a better way to draw it?
Disagree with my labels?

Let me know...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Improvisation Games at Work

Oh, I get it... Whose FISHING line is it anyway!! Har, har...

As Abba so famously said, "Take a chance, Take a chance, Take a, Take a Chan-Chance".
The ability to improvise in the workplace is valuable. Few would argue with that proposition.

The problem is, most of us suck at it. It's nothing to be ashamed of.
Cognitive science tells us that there are very good reasons why we're creatures of habit and pattern (like... otherwise our species wouldn't have survived).

The good news is that improv is a skill that can be developed (or a muscle to be exercised, if you prefer). A cottage industry has developed, where improv troupes go to businesses and conduct improvisational workshops.
But you don't really need to pay some out of work actors to teach you how to goof off, do you? (Nothing wrong with out of work actors, but why should they have all the fun?). You probably have had a lot of practice goofing off as a kid - or a college student - or as an account manager.

Anyway, during our department's monthly get-together last Monday, I ran a 40-minute improv session. I surfed Youtube for some samples from "Whose Line is it Anyway?" and led the following four exercises in an event we called "Whose Job is it Anyway?"

We ran two cycles of this: Worlds Worst Boss and Worlds Worst Customer.
Then we moved on to "The Dating Game", which we changed to "The Interview Game"

For the first round, the contestants were a martial artist, Madonna, and our company CEO.
In the second round, the contestants were George Bush, Sarah Palin, and Frankenstein.
The game went really well. Stacy brought the house down as the martial artist and Brent nailed the 'Palin Wink'.

Next we played Three-Headed-Broadway Star:

Our song was, "Job, Don't Leave Me". Degree of difficulty is about 9.5 on this one. It was a little painful to watch, so I wouldn't recommend it to newbies...

Finally, we did a couple of rounds of Dubbing. Two of our group mimed a scene, while two others provided the voices.
In one scenario, we did a performance review that turned into the manager ordering the employee to do push ups. In the other, working on executive review turned into a little ballet.

How did it all go?
Well, we had fun. We had some laughs. We learned how hard improv really is.
And I can't wait to do it again!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

VizThink 09 Highlights: XPLANE Discovery Cards

I am always looking for new tools to add to my toolbox, so I got all geeked up when I saw these Discovery Cards at the XPLANE booth at VizThink 09...

This card set is designed to facilitate the discussion of issues. There are four subsets in the deck - 'crisis', 'growth', and 'change' form the issues portion. The participant(s) will recognize their current issues in this set and set this side. They then tell the story of their problem. 

When this step is completed, the fourth subset - 'action' - is used to identify possible actions.

I love using visual and kinesthetic tools to facilitate discussion. I call them 'Externalization Engines'. Photos, Legos, Cards, Physical Modeling, Drawings, Posters: all of these allow people to present thoughts and feelings that are difficult to articulate.

My set of cards arrived today and they look great.
I can't wait to find a opportunity to use them.

Make sure to check out XPLANE's Discovery Cards, and I'll update you as soon as I use them.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Restroom Iconography VIII: Hotel California, Todos Santos

I've been documenting restroom icons for a few years now, and posting them for the past 6 months.

On my recent trip to La Paz, Mexico, I found the mother of all restroom icons. It's the Grand Canyon, Holy Grail, and Elvis of restroom icons.
It's the... well, you get the picture.

These icons are everything I like in an icon. Colorful, primitive, large and clear. It's hard to imagine that anyone will misunderstand these.

The icons are found at the Hotel California in Todos Santos, an artsy village located halfway between Los Cabos and La Paz in Baja Sur. It's a really pleasant place to spend a day.

There is some debate over whether this is the Hotel California that inspired the Eagles. If it isn't, well, it seems like it could have...
Come to think of it, doesn't that look like Glenn Frey on the right side?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

VizThink 09 Highlights V: Dan Roam

One of the highlights of VizThink 09 was seeing two talks by Dan Roam, author of "The Back of the Napkin".

On the left are my notes from his talk, "3 Rules of the Whiteboard". Dan is smart, funny, and a really nice guy.

We had a talk about my name. When I told him I was named after John Glenn - the astronaut/senator/astronaut was in orbit at that time - he got excited and said, "I'll have to draw a spaceman in your book then!"

He then drew a little astronaut in a mercury spaceship for me... very cool!

Dan does his presentation on a tablet pc - demonstrating that most ideas can be communicated with simple graphics.

Monday, March 2, 2009

VizThink 09 Highlights IV: Visualizing Tomorrow

My infographic of a factory going from 100% waste to 30% waste

At VizThink 09, I attended a 20-minutes session facilitated by Elizabeth Pastor of Humantific and accomplished way more than I though possible in 20 minutes.
We did quick warm-up drawing exercises, and then started making meaning.

By the end of the session, I had created the graphic above. It's a today/tomorrow image of a company going from 100% to a strategy with 33% reuse and 33% recycling.
I'm not bragging about the art or anything, but it's amazing what you can learn in 20-minutes.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

SMART as Hell - The Blog

I'm excited to announce my second blog - SMART as Hell.

The objective of SMART as Hell is to make all goals and objectives, that's right, SMART as Hell.
After laying out my philosophy of SMART goals over the next few weeks, I'm going to start critiquing some

Each week, I'll post a different (real) goal or objective that I've found on the Internet and run it through the SMARTometer. Sound painful? Well, for some objectives it will be!
After I critique the objectives, I'll take a shot at rewriting them.

Join me for some laughs, some learning, and - if you're up for it - some help with your SMART goals.