Four Tools Guaranteed to Send Your Team into Decision-Making Bliss

I hope this finds all you folks in the US happy and rested after the Thanksgiving holiday.

My last newsletter focused on suspending judgement while brainstorming to facilitate innovation and creativity, with a promise to follow up this week with ideas to help you or your team make decisions and select the best ideas to move forward with. Okay, maybe you won’t end up completely blissed out if you use these ideas, but at least you’ll have a darn clear picture of what’s important to your team. Which is pretty much the same thing, right?

A graphic recorder can often visually reflect where there is energy or consensus in the group through the illustrations they create, but what if you don’t have a graphic recorder, or the group is having a difficult time deciding?

My first step is usually to have the group create Clusters. When brainstorming, I like to have participants write ideas on sticky notes – one per note – and post them on a wall. This makes it easy to move the ideas around into different themes or categories, which can then simplify or reduce the number of items you need to decide on or prioritize. Be sure to clearly delineate and name the clusters.

Great, now we have a ton of awesome clusters. What now? Now, my friend, you have options (ironic, more decisions for you to make).  Here are some of my favorite decision-making and prioritization techniques, in no particular order, and with endless opportunities to tweak to fit your needs or group.

1.       The Dot Vote: A Classic. Chances are, you’ve used this at least once in your life…If the words “dot vote” make you want to run screaming from the room or throw the device you’re reading this on against a wall, please move on to Idea 2 immediately. However, it’s used often for a reason; it’s quick, can be used in groups of all sizes, and forces people to make tough choices. I usually give people multiple dot stickers so they can give their votes some weight: if you really love an idea, put as many dots on it as you’d like. If you are interested in several, spread your dots around. The caveat is that dot voting might mean an idea that will more heavily affect a minority of the group might get overlooked, even with weighted dot voting.

2.       Five Finger Vote: A la OGSystems Visioneers. This is another quick, weighted voting technique. After generating a list of clusters or key ideas to vote on, discuss them to be sure participants understand each one. Go through them one by one and ask participants to hold up fingers for each as follows:

0: Strong Preference Against (could not accept this idea)

1: Preference Against (accepting this idea would be a compromise to better alternatives)

2: Casual Preference Against (could accept this idea, but other alternatives are just as good)

3: Casual Preference For (could accept this idea, no better alternatives)

4: Preference For (would support this idea, and not prefer another idea)

5: Strong Preference For (could not support another idea)

Count the total for each option – the idea with the highest number of votes is the winner.

3.       Selection Chart: Another Classic. When I need something more analytical and number oriented, creating a chart with options on the left column and criteria for ranking across the top can be useful. Decide on a scale for weight (i.e. 1-5, 5 being most important), and go through each option and give each criterion a number based on how important it is. Again, add up the scores for each option and you’ll get a winner and see distribution of importance. Bonus: You can do this individually first, then come together to discuss patterns or differences across the group.

4.       Decision Trees (for inspiration & humor try this one): A la Dan Roam. Start with an important question, such as “Is dropping our price a good option?”. From there, ask and draw another, related question like “Is our market price sensitive?” decide yes/no, and if yes, ask another question, such as “How is our price relative to our competitor?”. If no, try another option since price isn’t a factor. And so on.

Now get out there and make a blissful Selection Chart to decide which of these tools you’ll use next time your team needs to make a decision.

Once again, thank you from my heart and soul for your support, great senses of humor, brilliant minds, collaboration and what you're each doing to make the world a better place.

Cheers, Karina

Need someone to help your team make some decisions...then actually move forward together? Click to get in touch about your next meeting or event that could use a touch of graphic recording magic.

Where in the World is ConverSketch?

I'm proud to announce a new explainer video is out in the world thanks to the new One Health Institute at Colorado State University! Click the image above to learn how CSU's Dr. John Spencer is partnering with researchers and practitioners in Brazil to work toward ending leprosy!

ConverSKETCH - Draw on the Power of Emotions to Connect to Your Audience!

Hello and welcome to this week's ConverSKETCH!

It's been a full two weeks since the first ConverSKETCH was sent out, and I have been inspired by your stories about how you've been using the drawing tips!

From enhancing student understanding with whiteboard drawings in higher education, to encouraging nephews to get creative with drawing their family and pets, I have loved hearing how you're taking these tips and making them your own!

Research shows that graphic recording, drawing and doodling helps you be more creative, collaborative and understand ideas better. Did you know it helps you remember nuggets of information better too? And this week's drawing tip will help you make your drawings even more memorable!

Now, here’s this week's drawing tip:

Did you know that if you associate a memory or idea with an emotion you're more likely to remember it? Now that you've mastered drawing people, try adding some emotion to their faces to really get your idea across. (Did you miss the first ConverSKETCH? You can see it on the blog!)

Not sure how to show the difference between surprise and scared? Use eyebrows to make emotions pop in your drawings.
Ready to give it a go?

Now I want to hear from you!

Come on over to the blog and upload your drawing in the comments section to share your unique style and inspire the community!

What variations did you come up with? How are you using this Sketch? And of course, any questions, epiphanies, and requests for future ConverSKETCHes!

Last week I went to Mexico City to work with BASF Chemistry and IdeaGuides for a creative brainstorming session...EN ESPAÑOL! While I can't say much about what they talked about, I can share this image above of some of the brainstorming methods they used. 

Fun fact: the phrase for "brainstorm" in Spanish is "lluvia de ideas" which translates to "rain of ideas"!

Did you like this drawing tidbit? 

Please sign up for my emails and if you'd like, share this with all your friends you think might enjoy some fast, free and fun ConverSKETCHes!

Thanks for reading! Keep drawing, and do the best you can to make your unique, positive difference in this world!

Cheers, Karina

ConverSKETCH 3 Fast, Easy People


Are you ready to unleash your inner artiste? It amazes me over and over how a simple drawing can help solve complex problems, or illuminate new approaches to doing something, or show how ideas might be more connected than we thought.

I'll be posting a new drawing tip every two weeks with the intention of sharing fun, easy ways to include drawings in your meetings, notes, classes or research to inspire a new idea, encourage collaboration, and help you remember things a little better.

And if you're interested in going beyond these drawing tips in your inbox, I love working with small groups or individuals to do graphic recording training. Shoot me an email if you're interested in learning more!

Here’s your first drawing tip:

Try adding simple people to your notes. As humans, we tend to be interested in what people, even hand-drawn stick people, are doing. Draw these little peeps next to notes to remind you of something that was exciting, an action item, or someone you need to follow up with.

Ready to give it a go?


Now I want to hear from you!

Upload your drawing in the comments section below to share your unique style and inspire the community!

What variations did you come up with? Did you add any emotions or flair to you people? How are you using this Sketch? And of course, any requests for future ConverSKETCHes!

Want this in your inbox? 

Please sign up for my emails and if you so desire, share this with all your friends you think might enjoy some fast, free and fun ConverSKETCHes!

Thank you so much for visiting, and keep doing your best to make your unique, positive difference in this world!

Cheers, Karina