One of the major uses our clients make of our whiteboard range is brainstorming, or more formally the gathering and analysis of ideas – typically, to solve a specific problem or issue. Sometimes this is part of a bigger project, sometimes it’s a one-off activity. Usually, getting the whiteboards is the easy part. Working out how to make sense of the vast number of ideas a creative team can come up with can be much harder.
Here at Logovisual our favourite method is Logo Visual Thinking (LVT). Yes, you guessed it – we like it so much we named ourselves after it. In this post we’re going to give you a very quick explanation of how to use LVT to gather ideas from a team, and make sense of them.
In our experience, LVT provides a process to quickly engage people in generating a collective understanding of a problem or opportunity, and move them to the best set of conclusions or actions. It is a democratising process – it enables people to think together; it supports individual and group thinking in a public shared space. It is a technology that supports dialogue.
There are five standard stages in the process.
These are the things we have to do well if the session is to succeed:
You need to think carefully about the problem and what ideas you are looking for. Let’s say a new product has resulted in a larger than usual number of customer complaints. The question could be as simple as “What do we do about the large number of complaints?” (be prepared for lots of ideas) or as targeted as “Why do we think this product is more complained about than others?” (be prepared for fewer, but more uncomfortable, ideas).
When sending out the joining instructions include the question you have chosen, and ask each participant to come up with their own set of possible answers to the question, to write them down and to bring them to the workshop. Ask them to keep this an individual task.
Choose a facilitator; ideally, they would be experienced in LVT, but following the guidance below should help an experienced facilitator pick up the technique’s basics. We can provide you with a completely neutral, experienced facilitator – click here to see some options.
Let’s assume that you have set the workshop up properly, and issued clear and helpful joining instructions. We suggest the following minimum kit to run an LVT workshop:
We’d be happy to discuss your equipment requirements – get in touch via the form on this page.
Now you’re in the workshop, and you’ve completed all the introductions and background. Time to address the problem.
With very large groups of people, it is normal to form smaller groups to do the gathering, each one answering the same question. In this case, you might like to add some smaller, portable whiteboards to the kit list like our Syndicate Modeller.
Skip this step if the Gathering was done by the whole group.
If the Gathering was done in groups, then in this stage the inputs need to be rationalised as follows:
This should be documented, either separately on a flip chart, or by colour-coding onto the dry-wipe board. If colour-coding, re-photograph the board.
In this step we will attempt a unification of all the clusters. You should feel free to do this any way that works – we often use a ring composition diagram, but often a simple workflow-like structure will work – you can even mix and match techniques as required. Add words to your evolving diagram (e.g. on the connectors) as required.
What is important is that you find a way to summarise the totality of the ideas you have gathered. You should be able to “read” the diagram back as a short phrase. To make this work:
Depending on the question you addressed, the output from this process :
You can now close the workshop by recapping the process you have gone through, reviewing the outputs, and explaining the next steps, including the immediate post-workshop distribution of documentation.
Our Logovisual Capture software is designed for making a clear and legible record of each stage of an LVT or other whiteboard-based idea gathering session. You can also use it as a visual thinking tool in its own right if you don’t have a suitable whiteboard.
Words by Richard Copley
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A frameless magnetic mobile whiteboard, the ThinkingWall® Freestander is ideal for flexible working in small groups. It is highly manoeuvrable and easy for one person to move around.
Our whiteboard accessory starter kit contains everything you need to get started with a new whiteboard. The kit includes:
1 No. Magnetic pen tray
1 No. 100ml whiteboard cleaning spray
2 No. Drywipe marker pens
1 No. Microfibre cleaning cloth
1 Pack of 30 No. 3 inch hexagon Magnotes
3 x 800mm x 600mm lightweight double sided magnetic whiteboards; 1 x bottle of whiteboard cleaning fluid; 3 x carry cases, each containing: 45 x yellow 3′ hexagon MagNotes, 4 medium dry-wipe pens and a cleaning cloth.
A double sided mobile whiteboard wall, providing a large drywipe and magnetic receptive working area to aid collaboration in your office or workplace environment.
Hexagon magnotes tiles are ideal for idea generation, structuring thinking and planning on whiteboards or just as re-usable magnetic notes for putting on fridges and filing cabinets.
Hexagon magnotes are supplied in packs of 30. Choose your colour and quantity below.
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