David Sibbet | Blog
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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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For eleven days early this May I accompanied twenty nine national park superintendents, deputy regional superintendents, and head rangers on a brand new immersive leadership training called the National Parks Institute. Park execs attended from all over the United States and eleven others countries—including Chile, Paraguay, Lebanon, the Bahamas, the Dutch Antilles, Kenya, Australia, China, and New Zealand.

I was the “facilitator.” I put this in quotes because it was a unique role – part master of ceremony, part process designer, part graphic facilitator, part participant observer, and part California Native speaker. It was a transformational experience for me and for the others. I want to share some of its impact here.

Here we all are at the end of the tunnel leading into Yosemite Valley.

NPI Group Tunnel View - Learning from Leaders of National Parks

 

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