1.Power of visual thinking

A mind once stretched by new thoughts can never regain its old shape” Albert Einstein

Evidence from brain research on the primacy of visual stimuli, and the disporportionate amount of brain’s bandwidth devoted to visual perception- unconscious processing of informationgives scientific validity to the saw ” a picture is worth a thousand words”.  Visual thinking skills help in thinking clearly, understanding deeply and communicating  effectively complex issues. David Armano has an excellent slide presentationThinking Visually on how to inform, influence and inspire by thinking in pictures. Idiagram , an unique consulting firm,  shows how visual models can be used to solve complex problems. Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam is a practical guide to solving problems and selling ideas with pictures. Jessica Hagy’s blog Indexed published daily, explains life’s conundrums through simple and clever charts.

Jack Welch’s famous three circle vision for GE, 1982, helped explain GE’s strategy under Welch to the investment community, employees, and other stakeholders. It was very effective in getting buy-in to Jack’s vision for a transformed GE.

GE 3 Circles Vision 1982
GE 3 Circles Vision 1982

Amazon acquisitions visualized

Ebay\’s acquisition map shows where it went off the tracks.

Examples of visual thinking applied to explaining complex issues:

Financial Crisis Explained Visually:

Here are some wonderful examples of using visual tools to explaining  a complex and important topic,the current financial crisis: financial crisis explained visually ; how to keep tabs on the $800 billion stimulus package and the $700 billion TARP program .  And, the resulting Federal Deficit under President Obama; another view of the federal deficit provided by the Heritage Foundation;  The New York Times’ excellent visual analysis of the US economy under different presidents, from Truman to George W. Bush.

Culture and Lifestyle explained visually:

World of Innaugural Addresses this unique gallery presents the Innaugural addresses of the Presidents of United States.

Where does your money go when you pump a gallaon of gas?

What is being said on Twitter visualized.

It is a small world Miniature Earth project.

Rise of the supercities in the world, and what it means for the future.

Words that make a nation word analysis of presidential speeches.

Super Bowl Ads two decades of advertising on Super Bowls.

Consumer spending visualized.

Odds of dying from various causes visualized.

Interactive Web radio very clever and very cool user interface for listening to music on the web.

Art as a cultural statement interesting art using common objects, such as soda cans, light bulbs and barbie dolls to make cultural statements.

World changing use of data visualization. An engaging and informative presentation from the brilliant professor Hans Rosling.

The pace of new technology adoption since 1900 has been accelerating, this visualization shows just how fast.

A 21st Century CEO is required to make decisions in a complex, interconnected and fast changing world. The CEO is constantly bombarded with information and has to have the skills and the ability to process, assimilate and make sense from this information fog. The ability to construct mental maps or visual models of their business is an important and perhaps an essential skill for the modern CEO. This course encourages students to think visually and critically.

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Why it matters


Business Model Innovation!!

Innovation in Business Models

Additional Exploration of the topic:

1.visual thinking Explore this site and rate it for usefulness (click on the link below)

2. Read, rate and comment on this article on how the brain processes information How the brain processes information

3. Read, rate and comment on this article on types of leadership Discovering Leadership Potential

4. Read, rate and comment on this article on GM management’s “bad” decisions GM\’s bad decisions

13 thoughts on “1.Power of visual thinking

  1. I really enjoyed the Innovation in Business Models slide show. It is so true today with the rapid advancements and changes in technology that many business models that were once solid in generating revenues are in today’s world invalid. People cannot fight the change, but instead adapt and modify their business model to work with the changing technology.

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