Communicating better

On Euviz 2014: An Interview with Sabine Soeder and Christine Chopyak, Ulric Rudebeck
Interview: Jost Burger

Visualization techniques are becoming everyday tools at the workplace. They help with collaboration and leadership by making communication easier. Because visualization shows the underlying connections within complex situations. And this is what the "Business, Collaboration & Leadership" track will be all about.

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As Visual Facilitators and Consultants, Sabine Soeder, Christine Chopyak und Ulric Rudebeck have been helping organizations develop and realize visions and strategies for many years. To them, rather than being a tool helping you think, visualization is something that is going to liberate our minds, just as machines liberated us from manual labor. It will not only change the way we do business in a fundamental way, but also all of society.
 

Could you give us an outline of what your Track will be about? 

We believe that visuals and their extensions will make a big contribution in redefining business over the next 50 years. They will in fact be one of the core elements in the transformation of humankind. The years between 1870 and 1970 transformed humankind in a way never seen before in the industrialization due to the area of the machine age with the liberation of the "muscular strength". The next period, 1970 to 2070, will see a huge transformation with the liberation of the "strengths of the human mind". And we don’t know yet what this means exactly as we are in the middle of this shift. Seen from the business perspective, at the center are two things. One: The core element of an organization is not an individual, it is a group of combined minds. Two: Value is not created mostly in the physical field but in the immaterial field. Both of those have as core process communication between minds.  

The present form of communication through words is not covering enough of the needs in collaboration and leadership. Words do not even begin to mirror the core processes of the human mind. Associations, images, complex concepts are at the core. They cannot be represented in communications only by speech or text. They need images. Through images we can communicate much easier under the two conditions mentioned above. What the track therefore ultimately aims at is to unlock the door to the future of the coming 50 years even more and let the participants walk in the land of the future, based on their own experiences and dreams.
 

How will it be put into practice? 

We will all start this journey together. Beginning with a short introduction about basic patterns in the business world and some insights from neuroscience and the experiences and stories of everybody in the room, working all together in little groups, sharing own stories and elaborate common patterns. In the first round of the Business Track the conversation rounds will focus on teams & collaboration seen under the lenses of friction points like fear and value creation. We will connect these explorations with the (possible) role of visuals and facilitation, co-create stories and together draw Storyboards with the main insights. The second round of the Business Track will focus on the question what all this means for leadership and focus on new ideas on how to integrate visuals and facilitation into the daily business world. And again all insights will be drawn together on Storyboards.
 

You are addressing the question of how the business world would look like if visual techniques would be applied everywhere. Could you tell us a bit about your thoughts here? 

The visuals and the process, mindfully used, "cut deeper" in the value system of individuals and groups. It has the power of revealing more fundamental connections in complex situations. If we assume that most people in principle have the same basic needs to be fully integrated as whole persons, like belonging, being seen and appreciated, being loved, having a meaning in their work life etc, then a more fully, deeper, more true "conversation" hopefully can support that development for individuals, groups and organizations. Of course it will not be the only element but a contribution to a better world.  

And it goes beyond the visuals … once you create the visual picture - what do you do with them? And this leads us directly to the question about how will the world be different when we act on the things that we draw or create. Visuals are anchored in multiple and deeper places in our brain and what we construct.  As a result the "new world" picture or construction can be seen and realized when we work and think with these pictures. Our creation takes on a life of its own and becomes real.   

When you work with visuals and communicate with them - complexity and diversity can get tangible - and with that decisions, next action steps, prototypes, concrete results etc. can be made much easier by receiving a definite form. Working with organizations around the world - one of the main challenges of today is how to communicate in a better and easier way. When we start to use visuals, a lot can be much easier communicated and used concretely results can get much more real as also next steps …
 

You are going to discuss  and work on the connections between value creation and fear. What does this mean? 

Any business or organization is also an arena of forces. It is an interaction of differences. This is good. It is in the friction between opposites where new value is created. Fear is "the holder of present", the "control factor", the "reducer and stand still". It is often of great value. The creation is the forward, explorative, daring force. That is also of great value, in fact the ultimate aim for many business.  When those two are present and worked on consciously a friction of development very often occur and with this a creation of new solutions can happen. Exploring those two as a pair in the Track is looking into one of the core elements of the business world.
 

If there is no facilitator in the room - what do you do if no one in the organization can draw really well? Or does that not matter? 

The number of visual practitioners in the last eight years only in Europe "exploded" from 10-15 to much beyond 100 ... In our perspective in a not too far future, the number of visual practitioners will get larger, much larger when the value of this for the core of the business in a world of "direct mind communication " is fully understood. Shortly after that it will be seen as so fundamental that most people will be expected to at least have a basic skill in this to be considered for a role in a business … In the meantime the main point is to communicate, to explain, to collaborate in an even better way - so every simple drawing which can support this process, is welcome - and everybody can draw simple shapes, write words and connect them to a "bigger picture". By telling the story through such a simple drawing you can create meaning much more easily for the group in the room than by long explanations.
 

The whole world is visualizing their businesses - which developments do you expect in your field?And how do you expect visualization to develop in general? 

Our understanding of the brain and how we communicate is only in its beginning. When more is explored and understood, visual practitioners will follow and develop new ways to deepen and expand the field into even more revealing forms. The "language" will change, the use of even more advanced metaphors will increase, our understanding of how to work directly with conflicts will increase, and the integration of long term goals and visions will be far more efficient. The development is fast and full of possibilities. As it is at the core of value creation of the future it will play a significant role in transforming society.
 

What are your expectations for the EuViz 2014? 

To connect many dots, to learn and grow together with the others from all around the world in this field of visual practitioners. Hopefully giving and getting many inspirations and encouragements for daring great next steps on our journey.
 

The interview was conducted by e-mail, questions were answered by all interviewees.


Zitate


"Words do not even begin to mirror the core processes of the human mind. Associations, images, complex concepts are at the core. They cannot be represented in communications only by speech or text. They need images. Through images we can communicate much easier where collaboration and leadership are concerned." Sabine Soeder, Christine Chopyak, Ulric Rudebeck: Communicating better

"Visualization has the power of revealing more fundamental connections in complex situations." Sabine Soeder, Christine Chopyak, Ulric Rudebeck: Communicating better

"Working with organizations around the world - one of the main challenges of today is how to communicate in a better and easier way. When we start to use visuals, a lot can be much easier communicated and used concretely results can get much more real as also next steps…" Sabine Soeder, Christine Chopyak, Ulric Rudebeck: Communicating better

 

changeX 17.07.2014. Alle Rechte vorbehalten, all rights reserved.

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Autor

Jost Burger
Burger

Jost Burger ist freier Journalist in Berlin. Er schreibt als freier Mitarbeiter für changeX.

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