David Sibbet | Visualizing
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Imagine holding the book you see here in your hands, and knowing that you wrote, illustrated and designed all 262 pages! I got that chance last Friday when Visual Meetings arrived from Wiley & Sons. The process began in December of last year whenVisualMeetingsBookImageS - Visual Meetings Arrives at The Grove Richard Narramore called and wondered if I would like to write a book about visualization for groups, following the success of Dan Roam’s book Back of the Napkin. Little did I realize then how fun it would be to deliver this sweeping review of 35 years of leading visual meetings all over the world.

I’m writing here to share some of the process I went through for those who might be interested in how books like this come to be. If you want to skip this post and go right to getting the book, then click on this link to a special page on The Grove’s website. If you want to hear my personal story of this journey, read on.

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Imagine a three channel, six city, tele-computer-graphics meeting with over 40 people involved and lasting four hours. I can and actually helped facilitate one recently when a consumer goods company from France decided to review its plans for talent management in Asia with its teams in Tokyo, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Singapore and San Francisco in a virtual rather than face to face setting. Here’s a picture of our video link (I was represented only by my graphics).

French Company's Virtual Victory—Six Cities Without a Hitch!

 

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I woke up this morning thinking about freedom and independence, not just because it is the celebration of the United States freeing itself from England, but also because it is the anniversary of my freeing myself to create my own business.

DSFirstLogo - Reflecting on Independence DayThat was back in 1977 when I set up a personal consultancy focused on organization development, communications, and graphic & design. My logo was a bright yellow spot, looking a bit like a light bulb. Here’s the image. (Note: I don’t live on 6th Avenue any more.)

Looking back the feeling of excitement about declaring “independence” didn’t last very long. I wasn’t very “free” in those early days, in the ways that mattered most. Deciding to be “independent” I was also deciding to take on a new set of responsibilities. I now had to do my own marketing, selling, writing, fulfillment, invoicing, and all the other things that make a company a company. My little startup was really nothing more than idea, and the next three years were a slide into challenge after challenge as I struggled to figure out how to run a business.

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This post links you to a video about my presentation on Visual Meetings at a recent TEDxSOMA event at the ParisSOMA loft, South of Market Street in San Francisco. ParisSOMA is a shared workspace for young entrepreneurs, very much in the spirit of the TED events. Its motto is “ideas worth sharing.” My Parisian college Meryem Le Saget introduced me to the sponsor Clement Alterseco, President of FaberNovell in Paris, several months ago and it led to the invitation.

My own ideas, formed over the 38 years I’ve been a visual practitioner, are condensing into a book for Wiley & Sons on the subject that will come out this summer. This 10-minute fly-over is a fast-paced review of what feels like a real revolution in how we communicate in organizations.