A video of the famed graphic designer Milton Glaser was floating around the web. The title and the topic were powerful: “Drawing is Thinking.”
The full clip is less than five minutes. Here is the direct link.
Glasermay not be well known outside artistic and design circles, but he is famous for the “I ‘heart’ New York” logo and several renown posters, logos and other creations. But it’s his commentary in this brief lecture that is most profound:
For me drawing has always been the most fundamental way of engaging the world. I’m convinced that it is only through drawing that I actually look at things carefully. The act of drawing makes me conscious of what I am looking at. If I wasn’t drawing, I get the sense that I wouldn’t be seeing.
This is good advice for anyone interested in art, but also for someone pursuing business process improvement. The single biggest factor in changing workflow and productivity is to favor diagrams over documentation. Writing down a sequence of steps or a plan of action is helpful. But unlike written documentation, pictures tend to communicate action and fluidity rather than rules and rigidity.
Whether you are trying to prepare for the new year, plotting organizational productivity, or understand the spread of disease and its effectiveness on worker productivity, pictures have power. According to Milton Glaser, perhaps the reason people are afraid of making sketches is based on an unfounded fear:
Curiously, people think that the difficulty of drawing is making things look accurate. But, accuracy is the least significant part of drawing.
Don’t be afraid to draw pictures because they won’t be flawless. Perfect is the enemy of good. An informal picture can be changed, improved, and understood by anyone. If you’re ready to learn how to diagram what you do, contact our consultants at AccelaWork. We help organizations put pen to paper and draw the future of their business.