The Grand DesignerApril 15, 2019
The consulting sector sees a lot of trends, and few were bigger in 2018 than the rise of graphic facilitation. The Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, and other publications feature the fast-growing field, which brings drawing and group activity elements to corporate training and strategy sessions.
Well-executed graphic facilitation delivers meaningful brainstorming; highly engaged participants see their ideas develop in real time and ultimately understand how their contributions figure into the big picture, literally.
Graphic facilitators—artists with a consultant’s mindset and group leader’s command—are highly sought. Fortunately for LMI, the ideal person for this role was already here: strategy and organizational management consultant Andrew Miller.
Miller joined LMI in 2006 to support clients as a graphic designer. He has adjusted his artistic skill set throughout his career, shifting from fine art to graphic design and back to a pen in his hand.
Miller’s recent shift to graphic facilitation began with workshops, where he honed his ability to think fast and draw quicker. For client meetings and projects that required visual aids, he started storyboarding.
As word of Miller’s talents spread, LMI’s senior leadership team sought his help to create a visual representation of the organization’s mission and vision. He met with senior leaders to gain an understanding of LMI’s past, present, and future. More sessions with even more LMI employees followed, each comment adding detail. In time, Miller’s sketch captured where LMI had been—and where it was going.
“My job has always been to pull ideas and concepts out of the mist and put them onto paper,” he said. “There’s no shortage of creativity or ideas here, and physically drawing them illuminates where gaps and overlaps exist. It helped us solidify a finalized, cohesive vision for LMI.”
Understandably, Miller has introduced graphic facilitation elements into other LMI projects and he would like to see it become a permanent part of project processes and planning. He intends to develop a full-fledged capability that LMI and clients can utilize for myriad purposes, from storyboarding and data visualization to prototypes and motion graphics.
“Art and graphic design are not isolated disciplines exclusive to ‘creative’ endeavors. They are a practical set of strategies, skills, and tools that improve the quality of complex solutions,” Miller said. “At LMI, our goal is to create a solution or product of the highest caliber. Implementing this strategic visualization capability will help us do that in a clearer, more creative manner.”