Most continuous improvement efforts and most notably Lean are influenced heavily by the power of visualization. In fact, the post-it-note and a roll of butcher paper may be the two most important tools that you can have. Even computers are trying to jump into the fray like the iPad. ;)
Graphics, Sticky notes, Mapping and napkins are becoming back in vogue, just review the recent editions of a few of the most recent management books:
…and there are quite a bit more.
Visual thinking has always been a big part of my thinking from Mindmaps, Value Stream Maps, Kanban, User Stories, etc. One of the older techniques that I ran across in discussion with Bill Dettmer, an upcoming podcast guest was Brainpower Networking Using the Crawford Slip Method. Pioneered by C. C. Crawford, the Crawford Slip method is a structured approach used to collect a large number of ideas from a group. A facilitator first displays a problem statement or issue, then participants generate ideas and write them on a provided slip of paper or 3 x 5 index card. Since this is an anonymous process, more candid and creative ideas result.
Invented in the 1920s by Dr. C.C. Crawford, Professor of Education at the University of Southern California, the method simply involves collating input from people on slips of paper, nowadays we often use Post-It Notes® or butcher paper for idea generation or mapping projects. I have huge bulleting boards and white boards in my office to facilitate idea generation. Not only does this help you generate a wide variety of solutions, it also helps people get involved and feel that their contributions are valued.
I ran across this video today on twitter,thanks to @igniter that I have not realized existed.
Do you wanna turn your office into an idea factory?
P.S. As Dr. Galsworth once told me…”If your not Visual, your not Lean!”
Lean Six Sigma Storyboard
Value Stream Mapping Workshop
Be Productive, Be Visual
Be Productive, Be Visual, Part 2
Start your Visual Thinking Process with Mind Mapping
Power of Visual Thinking in your Visual Workplace
BTW: I have no affiliation with IdeaPaint, I just thought it was a cool product. Click on the link to see their website it is FUN!!