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How to Solve Business Problems by Drawing Your Way Out of Them.

Yesterday, I had a breakthrough breakfast with my friend Rich Goidel.

Rich runs a company called Dangerous Kitchen that helps businesses improve their ROI through visual thinking and goal-setting. Over breakfast, Rich explained something to me that I thought was very powerful, so I wanted to share it with you.

Using a Journal to Solve Business Problems. Just about every morning, I write in my business journal. I’ve found it’s a great way to collect my thoughts and frame my thinking for the day.

But Rich pointed out that when you write in a journal, you’re primarily engaging the left hemisphere of your brain (the logical side). A better method is to draw a picture of your business challenge, which engages both the left and right hemispheres of your brain.

The result is that your entire brain works to solve the problem, instead of just half of it.

How I Used Rich’s Method. As many of you know, I’ve just launched a social media and mobile marketing firm called 60 Second Communications. In the two weeks since we opened, we already have two national accounts (and a possible third on its way).

It’s a good problem to have.

But this morning, my waking thoughts were, “How am I going to get all this work done?” Here’s how I visualized the solution in my journal:

Using Your Whole Brain to Solve Problems. Rich’s solution to use visualization to solve problems is a great concept. He’s written a blog post about this called The Ten Benefits of a Visual Journal. Check it out. It’s packed with great tips and ideas about visual journaling.

In the meantime, you might also download the Paper App, which Rich also turned me on to. It’s the tool I used to create the sketch above and I love it. (Evernote Fans might also like Penultimate, which is another good drawing tool for tablet computers.)

How do You Solve Business Problems? What are some creative techniques you use to solve business problems? We’re having a discussion about that on our LinkedIn Group here. Let us know your thoughts!

Jamie Turner is the CEO of social media and mobile marketing firm 60 Second Communications and is the Founder of the 60 Second Marketer.  

  • Great post Jamie! 🙂 And thanks for the shout out—and breakfast!

    In addition to visual thinking, I also practice Appreciative Inquiry. It’s actually the reason I started journaling in the first place. Research shows that the way we frame up questions is directly correlated to the outcomes, and that, over time, being positive about the way you approach challenges actually changes your brain patterns, helping you arrive at better, more positive, solutions.

    I find that drawing greatly amplifies the work of Appreciative Inquiry, since it helps me internalize the work so much more.

    • Yes! Agreed! How you view the world and frame the issues confronting you has a huge impact on the outcomes you experience. There’s a great line — “Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.” In other words, every experience can be used to improve your life moving forward.

      Thanks for stopping by, Rich!