Graphic Facilitation for Strategic Discussion at UNU-EHS
How can visuals help you to advance strategic issues in discussions with your colleagues? Heidi Förster from UNU-EHS was one of the participants in the Graphic Facilitation training and used her new skills in internal meetings. Here is what she has to report from her experience:
“Within our section, we have a series of discussions on strategic issues. In our very first meeting we used a template to define purpose and objectives of the discussions. In our forth meeting we used a big poster with content and questions that arose during the previous discussions, and a template on next actions. We worked on these two templates basically in parallel, since ideas for ‘actions’ popped up throughout the process. All of the templates are based or at least inspired by templates provided by Bigger Picture.
In my opinion, the great advantage of using templates is that they provide a structure and preset key-questions. During the discussion it allowed us to move along this structure and to concentrate on answering questions instead of hopping from idea to idea. However, there are also challenges. First, it is necessary to prepare the right and most important questions (I think it helps if at least two persons discuss about it beforehand). Second, during the discussion it is crucial to realize when to adapt or change questions, and to decide what to spend the most time and energy on. I noticed that we tended to fill in the white spaces and did not question very much the utility (could be also a sign that the template was simply perfect .”
Heidi Förster (foerster[at]ehs.unu.edu)