01-26-2020

How Storytelling Drives Strategy

Live Design

In a world of social media, emojis and doodles – the old adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” could not be more true.

As mankind evolves and the world becomes more connected and complex, most humans still effectively consume information visually; approximately 65 percent to be exact. This ingrained human behavior highlights the importance of delivering a message simply, emotionally and effectively. At Parsons, we’re tapping into this human capacity for visual processing to enrich the customer experience and encourage creative problem-solving through a process known as  “Graphic Recording.”

At CES Government 2020, an enterprise technology and policy summit, the company’s  Visioneers furiously drew as discussions about the future of technology in infrastructure and the movement of goods, people and services went on behind them.

This is Graphic Recording.

Graphic Recording is the practice of synthesizing real-time content –  like presentations, conversations, meetings- into hand-drawn text and images, usually in a largescale format, to simplify a complex topic into a visual story.

Graphic Recording provides value in many ways:

  • It boosts participant information retention through the creation of a visually-anchored experiential memory of the discussion, increasing information stickiness.
  • It generates a visually-based record of the topics that were actually discussed and can be used live during an event as a method of reference to those conversations.
    • For example, a panel at CES Government 2020 projected the Visioneers’ graphic recording as their backdrop on stage and used it as a conversation guide and reference.
  • It lifts the creative spirit in the room, paving the way for new and different questions and ideas. Graphic recording is a visual interpretation of verbal content and, as such, prompts new questions and conversations.
  • The visual language is particularly helpful when customers want to generate clarity around ambiguous challenges: “Did you mean this? Let’s collect our ideas. Help me see your meaning.” Graphic recording equalizes all participants’ contributions and allows for a more neutral exploration of a problem set.
  • Graphic recording is a visually engaging reference for use after an event.
    • Our Visioneers digitize their wall-sized art to be re-used in websites, infographics, and presentations.
    • Some customers hang the graphic recordings in their team rooms, like wallpaper, as a persistent reminder of the energy, conversations, and progress made that day.
Infographic

Graphic Recording is one of many tools  Parsons uses for creative problem solving – the Immersive Engineering methodology. While our skilled graphic recorders observe, listen, and synthesize stakeholder contributions into visuals that reveal connections and reduce ambiguity, they also apply facilitation and high-performance team techniques, human-centered design methodologies, and other types of strategic visualization to spark innovation, foster collaboration, build stronger teams, and advance creative problem-solving.

These practices are central to Parsons’ culture. We apply effective leading creative practices to myriad challenges, helping customers find the right solutions to hard problems.

If you’re interested in seeing more of Parsons visual storytelling, follow us on Instagram: @VisioneeringByParsons.
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