Thursday, April 06, 2006

Thoughts Illustrated (TI) at work in group settings

My first experience in the use of TI techniques was its use in facilitating the acceleration of design, development and action in groups of 10-50 persons, where the illustrator accelerates group cohesion and rapid iteration of ideas and concepts to complete complex work by synthesizing(visually interpreting) the ideas and concepts being generated in real time by the diverse working groups. This experience was coordinated by a design practitioner experienced in facilitating high performance teams and the power of TI visualization to support the process.(See example by Eileen Clegg above.)

What began for me at the Knowhere Store in Palo Alto in 1997 where the process was integral to the work of Matt and Gail Taylor in their Design Shops, and led over time to my use of the process in facilitating early stage company due diligence, and strategic alliance development, and finally in the partnering with Ernst and Young in the establishment of the VentureStream Accelerator facility and practice - has convinced me that not only is the TI process useful in applications such as those in my previous posts on the use of TI for thought leaders and their written or spoken media publications, but even more useful when applied, as has been my experience, in the work of teams in all types of organizations, from startups to large enterprises.

It now appears to me that the "book" on TI needs to be written - from a case study and story telling basis, there is a wealth of knowledge that can be distilled and published for public consumption and consulting practice development - and that writing about and exhibiting the power of TI in blog, podcast and book form can provide powerful examples of the TI process in action.

There exists an internationally distributed cadre of graphic facilitators and knowlege creation enablers experienced in the use,and convinced of the value, of TI from several decades of practice who can be called upon to provide the necessary talent to undertake the building of a successful TI-based microenterprise network. Their cumulative skills and experience when coordinated as a group practice is world-class.

I have talked about this concept with many of the above practitioners, and believe that there is a way to engage them in collaborative projects where their specialized experience can be marketed in a manner that at present none of them seem to have developed on an individual and small group basis.

We need to write the book - and it probably should be a collaborative open source project in which illustrations from each of the collaborator's experiences would provide the narratives and allow for repurposing and exponential improvement via the work of as many talented collaborators as can be recruited.

Thoughts Illustrated
an open source creative commons publication

Now is the time to begin writing it and further developing the microenterprise network to support its acceptance and implementation in advancing the practice of high performance work groups in all settings.

I will work over the weekend to think through the principal collaborators who should be invited to join in this work and post the listing here early next week along with the invitation to them to join in the writing and publishing effort.

Joi Ito was the catalyst for an example of this Open Source publishing process in Extreme Democracy,later edited and published by Jon Lebkowsky. Extreme Democracy: Jon Lebkowsky, Mitch Ratcliffe: Books

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Ti panel