Learning Map

Communicating Through Change

How a Blueline Blueprint Learning Visual and Quick Draw Video Can Help Tell the Story

Whether self-induced or triggered by external forces, organizational change can create confusion, uncertainty and fear at all levels – having a notable effect on morale, production and overall organizational climate.blueline-2.24.16v2

Although the end result is almost always positive, getting there can be a painful journey for everyone involved.

How you approach and communicate the change makes all the difference.

Whether change is embraced or polarizing, celebrated or chastised all comes down to one thing: leadership. It’s leadership’s job to align, communicate and get buy-in through a common message of both purpose and vision. “We’re doing this with you” rather than, “We’re doing this to you” is a message that’s both powerful and uniting.

Case in Point

A Fortune 100 healthcare company turned to Blueline Simulations after changes at all levels created fear and confusion throughout the organization. They enlisted our help in aligning stakeholders through a common purpose and vision for the future.

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Blueline led the way in helping to define their future and prioritize the actions that would bring it to life. More than that, we devised an approach to telling the story of their journey in a way that inspired employees and clients to embrace the vision and take the actions prioritized by leadership.

Capturing the Story Through a Blueline Blueprint

It started with one of our Master Artists drafting a Blueline Learning Visual that told the story of where the company had been. Plenty of white space was left to capture their vision for the future.

We then facilitated a one-day strategic planning session to guide our client’s efforts to define their vision for the future and prioritize the steps it would take to get there. Throughout the meeting, our Master Artist captured the process and the leadership team’s decisions. The final output was a table-size learning visual that the leadership team could use to engage others by telling the story of “where they had been, where they were going and how they planned to get there” in a fun, engaging way.

We repurposed the drawing and memorialized the leadership team’s efforts through a 4-minute narrated quick draw video telestration of the Master Artist creating the drawing so that it could be used to define and promote the organization’s brand. The final deliverable was a professionally narrated video of the Master Artist rendering the drawing for the audience. (Through the power of technology, the rendering takes place in about 1/60th of the time it actually takes to recreate the drawing.)

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The client kicked off its annual meeting with the quick draw video telestration, which set the foundation for a presentation by the leadership team. Large posters of the Blueline Learning Visual were on display throughout the meeting space so that participants could “re-experience” the journey with leadership.

The result is best summarized by the head of the organization, who opined: “The successful outcomes of this initiative are an important lesson in embracing the types of innovation we want to support throughout the organization. Through these efforts, we got 80% of the way to our destination in 20% of the time it usually takes us.”

Is your organization facing a challenging transformation? Contact the change management experts at Blueline today!

Facing a business transformation? Blueline is in your future!

blueline-dialChange creates uncertainty – causing fear and confusion and hurting productivity.  A clearly defined message and communication strategy can dispel doubts and facilitate alignment.  Learn how Blueline supported innovation initiatives at a Fortune 50 Healthcare Company using proven planning and communication strategies.

The outcomes are best summarized by the head of the organization who opined: “the successful outcomes of this initiative are an important lesson in embracing the types of innovation we want to support throughout the organization – through these efforts we got 80% of the way to our destination in 20% of the time it usually takes us.”

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

At Blueline we are very familiar with the power of a strong visual image. Our highly successful Learning Blueprints are built on this principle. But what if you could combine the engagement created by a picture with the clarity of the spoken word? It turns out you can.

One of our clients is rolling out a new strategic account management framework to transform their sales approach.  The supporting curriculum is made up of three separate workshops – each dedicated to a unique set of competencies. Frustrated with the poor compliance they had been getting with pre-reading assignments, they needed a creative way to introduce critical elements of the program’s new framework in advance of each of three corresponding workshops.

This gave us the perfect opportunity to showcase the power of Blueline’s telestration technology. A telestration is a short video using high-speed hand-drawn images and picture-wordsanimations.  When combined with a clear message from the narrator, this approach captures and holds the viewer’s attention.  Generally, three to four minutes in length, telestrations are very useful in simplifying messages, because both the video and audio focus exactly on the ideas being communicated.  The audience quickly understands – and this combination makes a significant amount of information memorable – in one viewing.

For this particular client, we developed an introductory telestration that conveyed the need for the new sales framework; provided an overview to the three phases; and explained how the new approach would benefit customers, the business, and sales representatives. We then developed three additional telestrations, one for each of the three phases of the framework – which provided an introduction to the associated competencies. As an alternative to pre-work, sales representatives were asked to watch a video before attending the corresponding application workshop.

An overwhelming percentage of participants watched the video prior to their workshop. Several sales managers asked for copies of the telestrations so they could replay them at upcoming sales meetings – enabling them to discuss different aspects of the framework with their teams. One manager even commented, “I’ve seen a lot of training videos, but this is 10 times better than anything else. I could take this telestration and train from it alone.”

Do you need to communicate new ideas to your organization in a brief, engaging, and meaningful way? Contact us at Blueline Simulations and let us show you how the power of telestrations can be put to work for you.

Facilitating Business Transformation at a Fortune 50 Healthcare Company

After major changes at all levels had created fear and confusion throughout the business, our client’s leadership sought to find a way to align stakeholders through a common purpose and vision for the future.

They turned to Blueline to take them through the process of defining their future and prioritizing the actions that would be needed to achieve it.  But doing that well was only half of the daunting challenge that faced them.  After all that the organization had been through, finding a way to capture and tell the story of their journey in a fun and engaging way that inspired employees and clients to embrace the vision and take the actions prioritized by leadership, was just as important.

Our team set about to help them to transform their organization through a simple, yet incredibly effective, combination of planning and communications initiatives.

Capturing the essence of leadership’s efforts through a blueline drawing

In advance of a strategic planning meeting, a Blueline Partner collaborated with one of our Master Artists to begin to draft a table-sized blueline drawing that told the story of where they had been. We left significant amounts of white space on the visual so that there was room to capture their vision.

Sample Blueline Drawing…

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Subsequently, Blueline facilitated a one-day strategic planning session to guide our client’s efforts to define their vision for the future and to prioritize the steps that they needed to take to get there. The same Master Artist that drafted the initial blueline drawing also attended the one-day meeting. Throughout the meeting, he captured the process and the leadership team’s decisions. The final output was an engaging, table-size visual that members of the leadership team could use to engage others by retelling the story of “where they had been, where they are going, and how they planned to get there.”

Engaging stakeholders through the use of a telestration

We repurposed the drawing and memorialized the leadership team’s efforts through a 4 minute narrated video capture of the Master Artist creating the drawing, so that it could be used to define and promote the organization’s brand.  This required that we capture the story in the form of a script that mirrored the drawing.  The final deliverable was a professionally narrated video of the Artist rendering the drawing for the audience.  (Through the power of technology, the rendering takes place in about 1/60th the time it actually takes to recreate the drawing.)

Sample Blueline Telestration….

The client used the telestration and blueline drawing to kick-off their Future Vision initiative during their annual meeting.  The meeting opened with the telestration – which laid a foundation for a presentation by the leadership team.  Subsequently, three by five foot posters of the blueline drawing were hung throughout the meeting space so that participants could “re-experience” the journey with their leadership.

The outcomes are best summarized by the head of the organization who opined: “the successful outcomes of this initiative are an important lesson in embracing the types of innovation we want to support throughout the organization – through these efforts we got 80% of the way to our destination in 20% of the time it usually takes us.”

Is your organization facing a challenging transformation?  Contact the change management experts at Blueline today!

We’re Not Trying to Diss on That Nice Bullet-Point Memo You Wrote, But…

Did you see my two previous blog posts? I wrote about the opportunity for greater linkage between communications and learning solutions; and then explored how narrative and metaphor have the unique ability to engage readers in a way that is highly participative.

Now let’s see if we can tie it all together.

At Blueline Simulations, we have developed a communication and learning tool that we call a Journey Map. It has proven to be a powerful device for:

  • Providing an easy-to-grasp overview of robust and complex messages.
  • Creating an involving narrative around organizational issues that allows readers to instantly see their role in the message.
  • Engaging readers at both a rational and an emotional level – so they don’t just understand the message urgency but feel it.

Here’s how it works. A Journey Map is a small graphic that is rich in both quantitative and metaphorical/narrative data. With dimensions of 11 x 17 (a standard “tabloid” sized page), the document is meant for “individual consumption” and not to be confused with our “Blueline Blueprint” learning technology.

The power of the Journey Map is not so much that it is “visual” (although that certainly grabs attention.) More importantly, it is “narrative”“ which means that it allows readers to connect not only with individual messages, but to better understand those messages in a context of how they relate to one another. These narrative-driven messages are “stickier” than those items in your bullet-point memo, leading to greater comprehension and retention. (Although I’m sure your memo is really good.)

The Onboarding Process as Narrative Journey

For example, one of our client partners worked with Blueline to rebuild its new-employee onboarding process. Of course, what is onboarding but one grand story? It’s a story about possibility, change, the aspirations of the new hire, and the vision that the new hire and the organization both share. Whew. That’s a lot of “tell”. And when you try to communicate all of that aspiration in a series of bullet points, you can hear all of the air going out of the balloon.

Part of our solution was to create a journey map graphic that depicted all of these messages in a single narrative, built around images and data. Suddenly the messages all clicked together: New hires were able to “find themselves” in the journey visual, while organizational leaders placed their progress in the context of a broader goal. This solution (along with our learning approach) has helped to create a best-in-class onboarding solution that is now regarded as one of the best in the country.

Organizational Change; Career Progression; Mentoring Structures; and More

Similarly, another of our client partners  – a global pharmaceutical company – was introducing a culture change with dramatic implications for how associates interacted with customers. By presenting the change in narrative format, associates were invited to reflect on their own role within the initiative, and recognize how their goals were in fact aligned with the goals of the organization. (This stands is stark contrast to the “defensive” response that leaders were expecting!)

In fact, our many case studies sound very much the same. Our client partners have brought us organizational challenges deep in complexity;¦and time and again have been astounded by how those complex messages can be rendered with clarity and emotional engagement in a simple graphical approach.

Of course, we’ve got more tricks up our sleeve. Give us a call today. We’ll give you a closer look at our Journey Map solutions. We’ve also got some ideas for couching your message in a narrative context for other communications, including:

  • Employee handbooks
  • Investor communications
  • Change, vision, and culture messages
  • Organizational identity (including onboarding audiences)

But enough about us. We want to hear your story. Contact us, and let’s explore some ways to bring it to life.