woman-owned business

How the Best Leaders Make Solid Decisions

In my last newsletter, I shared one characteristic that contributes to strong leadership. And while I think that listening is a key trait to great leaders, I’d like to dig a little deeper into a particular aspect of this idea: HOW and to WHOM they are listening.

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin hits the nail on the head:

“Good leadership requires you to surround yourself with people of diverse perspectives who can disagree with you without fear of retaliation.”

What strikes me about this quote is how someone in a position of power could cultivate an environment that supports healthy disagreement. That last bit about “without fear of retaliation” speaks of a person who assumes good intentions even if the words are oppositional, who takes time to consider options, and who values critical thinking over a “yes-man”.

Additionally, there is power in WHO is delivering the message. If we receive a critical message, if we know it’s coming from a place of wanting us to do better, it’s easier to hear.

If you want to read more about the power of perspectives in effective, collaborative teams, check out my post here.

If you’d like to co-design a process that creates space for different voices and perspectives to think critically, to learn more about how graphic facilitation can support your team.

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

Where in the World is ConverSketch?

Cortez Colorado  for Southwest Rural Philanthropy Days where over 300 nonprofit and funding participants brainstormed how to build a stronger community of giving in rural southwest Colorado.

Cortez Colorado for Southwest Rural Philanthropy Days where over 300 nonprofit and funding participants brainstormed how to build a stronger community of giving in rural southwest Colorado.



New York City  for the second of three workshops focused on modeling storm water and sea level rise in the City. Teams from five academic institutions are creating models of different storm scenarios so the City can develop informed emergency response strategies and priorities based on data.

New York City for the second of three workshops focused on modeling storm water and sea level rise in the City. Teams from five academic institutions are creating models of different storm scenarios so the City can develop informed emergency response strategies and priorities based on data.



Las Vegas  for a showcase and brainstorm session on innovation in the field of optometry exploring ideas like how to better leverage technology to serve a broader population of people who need eye doctors.

Las Vegas for a showcase and brainstorm session on innovation in the field of optometry exploring ideas like how to better leverage technology to serve a broader population of people who need eye doctors.



Ohio State University to capture the latest thoughts and innovations in cyber security.

Happy Summer from ConverSketch

While I’ve touted the power of consistency in previous posts, the fact of the matter is…it’s summer. Between graphic recording jobs, we took a week and explored San Francisco and the Northern California coast on the way to a stunning wedding of dear friends on the Smith River.

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And, as I mentioned in my last dispatch, this summer I've had the honor of working on a surprise project which will be unveiled on Thursday, August 2nd in Old Town Square, Fort Collins at 7 pm. The Hazel Miller Band will be playing a Thursday Night Live concert in the Square, so if you're in NoCo, come on down, listen to some great music, and check out what I've been up to!

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That big ol’ surprise project isn’t quite done, so…that’s my cue to leave you with this short, sweet update email. Now go enjoy some summer time!

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

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Checking In With You

I'm facing a really nice conundrum here. I'm up to my eyes in projects: multiple videos, live graphic recording and facilitating events, and teaching a one credit facilitation workshop to graduate students at CSU.

Which means I need to take some of my own advice and prioritize to get stuff done...so this email is short. I didn't want to leave you hanging, so I wanted to check in, let you know that I'm thinking about you all, and I'll be back in February with your regularly scheduled wit, wisdom and sketchiness. And this February in particular has some big stuff going on for ConverSketch, so stay tuned!

In the mean time, if you're looking for some new tunes to keep you groovin' and in the Productivity Zone, check out Radio Garden -- you can tune to any radio station worldwide and stream what they've got going on!

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

You're busy too. So let's make life easy and schedule a time to talk about your projects.
 

Where in the World is ConverSketch?

This winter I had the honor of co-leading a volunteer trip to Kenya through Colorado State University's Alternative Breaks program. This was my fifth time in Samburu, Kenya and each time my heart overflows with appreciation, love, laughter and strength that just radiates from the women and youth at Unity Village and the surrounding community. Here I am with little Karina, who's about 3 now. Interested in learning how educating young women and men can change a community for the better? Ask me about the Samburu Youth Education Fund, a non-profit run for the community, by the community.

When Can Being Intoxicated Be A Good Thing?

ConverSketch is intoxicated this week. No, last night wasn’t crazy, and , despite working from home, I haven’t started drinking early in the day (that's a joke, people!). I’m talking about a different kind of intoxication, and one that is a lot more productive.

This little post for you is inspired by the following piece by Hugh McLeod of GapingVoid Art.

As Hugh so eloquently puts it: You can be intoxicated by a lot of things. We like possibility.

This concept is nothing new, it’s the foundation of so many successful businesses. But somehow, this unorthodox way of stating a concept that these days often feels brittle and overused keeps me coming back to it. Thinking of possibility as intoxicating, as full of energy, new ideas and connections instead of overwhelming, unclear or unknown. And if you tend to get anxious and overwhelmed, you might enjoy this post on how drawing can help you move through overwhelm.

It's a craft to learn to tap into what you feel the moment you realize there’s a lot more to something than you originally thought. Which electrifies you. Suddenly hours have gone by, and there’s still more energy bubbling up from inside you.

There's a few things that have me intoxicated this week...
- Putting together and beta testing a new offering from ConverSketch to utilize my strengths connecting with and encouraging individuals to cultivate Aha Moments with folks one-on-one.
- Delivering prints of my watercolor paintings to the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery and Wolverine Farm Publick House to sell. (Note: The positive feedback I’ve gotten from you all with my painting really blows my mind. Thank you for giving me a resounding high five to continue pursuing and refining my fine art skills!)
- Seeing little vegetable sprouts emerging from tiny little seeds (how miraculous is that!?)

Click on the image below to see the larger version.

What possibilities are intoxicating you right now? Take a moment over a glass of wine or beer and doodle out some possibilities that are as enticing as a nice cool beverage on a warm summer evening.

What might be keeping you from taking a nice, big swig from that cup o’ possibility? What steps can you take THIS WEEK to move toward making it a reality?

Comment below so others can benefit from your wisdom. 

If you liked this tip, please sign up for my emails and if you'd like, I'd be so grateful if you shared it with your friends!

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




What possibilities are you exploring with your organization or individually? Click that button to chat with me about how I can help you make it more effective, productive and fun with graphic recording.
 

Where in the World is ConverSketch?

Here's a snapshot from a graphic recording at a workshop with CSU's One Health Institute as the team worked with the talented folks at New City to develop a rockin' communication strategy moving forward. People, Animals, Planet. Heck yeah. 

My Top 3 Tips to Rock Your Work Day in 2016

Hey there!
 
I don't know about you, but I'm feeling rejuvenated and energized for 2016. Yes, it seems like everyone is posting online about how kickass 2016 is going to be, how excited they are and what big plans they have in store for us.

You may be thinking along the lines of "Yes! I've been planning and 2016 is going to be spectacular for me too!" Or, you might find yourself wondering "How is everybody so brilliant and productive around the holidays? What will 2016 hold for me?"

If you feel like you're asking those questions, here's a post I wrote about the benefits and tips for creating a Vision Board. (Pssst! Just because it's not January 1 doesn't mean it's too late!)

To be honest, toward the end of 2015 I had a difficult time staying motivated and focusing on important work from day to day. The beginning of a new year is an intuitive time to look back on the year, learn, visualize and plan for success, so I decided to take a hard look at what I was doing (or not doing) and how to shift my daily practices to better reflect the love I have for my work. 

So here for you, lovely readers/doodlers, are the fruits of my self-reflection and observation: The 3 top tips that have helped me refocus and rock the first couple of weeks in 2016.

3) Your Daily Top 3. Each evening, I take a few minutes to write down my top 3 projects or to-do's for the next day somewhere I can see it clearly. This tip is from Marie Forleo (if you haven't checked out her weekly business Q&A videos I recommend it). Taking time at the end of the day to prioritize and organize helps me jump right in instead of flopping around the next morning trying to decide what to do when. I've tried this in my phone, on my computer, and on a note-pad on my desk, but for me, I've found that writing it on the corner of my Ridiculously Enormous Graphic Recorder-Sized Whiteboard is most helpful because I can see them all day and cross them the heck off when I get them done! It's the little things, right?

2) 15 Minute Bites. Sometimes the hardest part of a project is starting it, and Ariana Friedlander of Rosabella Consulting shared this tip with me to overcome that barrier. I like to set a timer for 15 minutes and tell myself to just focus on the task at hand for that long. It's such a short chunk of time I can ward off the typical procrastination techniques...I can wait 15 minutes to get a snack, or check my email after I've done 15 minutes of work on a project...hold on, my timer just went off...

And my #1 Tip for staying focused and rocking on the daily is...

1) Start Analog. For me, this means not turning my computer on first thing, but sitting down with a pencil or paintbrush and doing some sketches or painting (for at least 15 minutes!). I find that once I get going, even if it's just for a short time, my momentum from that carries me deeper into the art or inspires me to move on to the next thing on my list. That feeling of having completed something, even if it's just a small sketch, is incredibly powerful in setting a productive tone for the day instead of getting sucked into the wormhole that email can become. 


(Hint: click on the image below to see the larger version)

There you have it! I hope these tips help you kick some ass and inspire those around you to crush their days too. With your powers combined, anything is possible! 

Do you have any tips or tricks to share that help you rock and roll on the daily? Share in the comments below so others can benefit from your wisdom. 

If you liked this tip, please sign up for my emails and if you'd like, I'd be so grateful if you shared it with your friends!

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










Now that you're crushing your work day, 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?

Here's a behind-the-scenes look at my set-up for filming explainer videos. This one is for Creek Consulting describing deliberative facilitation and how it can help your organization. Check my YouTube channel later this month for the finished video!