David Sibbet | Collaboration Strategies
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'75EarlySibbetPhoto - What's the Future of the Visual Facilitation Field?Recently I was interviewed by a bright, young reporter from Communication Arts about The Grove’s work in visual facilitation. “I’m talking to a lot of different people and really wanted to talk with you, an acknowledged leader in this field,” she said. “I want to get to some of the underlying theory and structure of what is happening.”

This opening triggered an immediate cascade of memories back to the 1970s when Interaction Associates, Geoff Ball, Fred Lakin, and I were on fire about Group Graphics, the future of technology, facilitation, and organizations. After all, we were in the curl of the massive wave of rethinking that all of my generation was doing about established institutions. Why not take on knowledge work and how we know what we know?

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“You pulled your punches,” Karolina said, standing below the stage at the July 2014 EuViz conference where I was sitting along with three other “elders” in the field of visual facilitation. “I and some others felt like you didn’t really say what you thought. You are the founders of this field. You need to tell us what you really think.”

We were at the Hotel nhow in Berlin with 220 visual practitioners from 29 countries. The conference was a collaboration between the International Forum of Visual Practitioners (IFVP), now 19 years old, and Neuland and Kommunikationslotsen*. It was by far the biggest and most professional IFVP conference yet—beautifully organized and a powerful experience. Participants included the full range, from beginners in the field to longtime veterans and skilled practitioners.

Elders - The Power of the Pen: At EuViz Berlin

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At The Grove we are officially launching Visual Leaders today. This means that Amazon is shipping; it’s in the stores at Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. And one person wrote from Canada that he saw it in Toronto in its “World’s Biggest Bookstore.” Richard Narramore, my Wiley editor, writes that he’s already let a contract for a Chinese translation. The process is a bit like having a baby. In between the nine months gestation and a life time of living with the result is this one moment in time. Print is static. Life is dynamic. One has to imagine all this, whether reading words or looking at pictures.

This image from a Nike meeting captures a bit of this feeling. Can you see the book as a satellite orbiting a fluid environment of issues and challenges?

 EmergingIssuesMuralFragment

 

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Fast Company excerpted my new book Visual Leaders in their recent on-line edition. The article features my observations about how to deal with social media by thinking about messages as being buoys in a foggy sea of possibilities. I shared a set of principles that are elaborated on in the article. Click here to read.

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