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תוכן מסופק על ידי Sketchnote Army Podcast and Mike Rohde. כל תוכן הפודקאסטים כולל פרקים, גרפיקה ותיאורי פודקאסטים מועלים ומסופקים ישירות על ידי Sketchnote Army Podcast and Mike Rohde או שותף פלטפורמת הפודקאסט שלו. אם אתה מאמין שמישהו משתמש ביצירה שלך המוגנת בזכויות יוצרים ללא רשותך, אתה יכול לעקוב אחר התהליך המתואר כאן https://he.player.fm/legal.
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Lena Pehrs sketches success as a change management consultant - S14/E06

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תוכן מסופק על ידי Sketchnote Army Podcast and Mike Rohde. כל תוכן הפודקאסטים כולל פרקים, גרפיקה ותיאורי פודקאסטים מועלים ומסופקים ישירות על ידי Sketchnote Army Podcast and Mike Rohde או שותף פלטפורמת הפודקאסט שלו. אם אתה מאמין שמישהו משתמש ביצירה שלך המוגנת בזכויות יוצרים ללא רשותך, אתה יכול לעקוב אחר התהליך המתואר כאן https://he.player.fm/legal.

In this episode, Lena Pehrs shares how she explores and co-creates change management solutions with her clients with visuals.

Sponsored by Concepts

This episode of the Sketchnote Army Podcast is brought to you by Concepts, a perfect tool for sketchnoting, available on iOS, Windows, and Android.

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Vectors provide clean, crisp, high-resolution output for your sketchnotes at any size you need s ideal for sketchnoting.

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Running Order

  • Intro
  • Welcome
  • Who is Lena
  • Origin Story
  • Lena’s current work
  • Sponsor: Concepts
  • Tips
  • Tools
  • Where to find Lena
  • Outro

Links

Amazon affiliate links support the Sketchnote Army Podcast.

Tools

Amazon affiliate links support the Sketchnote Army Podcast.

Tips

  1. Explore metaphors by taking creative or poetry classes.
  2. Get good structure in your drawing.
  3. Try and change format.
  4. Have some fun.
  5. Play with children. Draw with them.

Credits

  • Producer: Alec Pulianas
  • Shownotes and transcripts: Esther Odoro
  • Theme music: Jon Schiedermayer

Subscribe to the Sketchnote Army Podcast

You can subscribe to the podcast through iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube or your favorite podcast listening source.

Support the Podcast

To support the creation, production and hosting of the Sketchnote Army Podcast, buy one of Mike Rohde’s bestselling books. Use code ROHDE40 at Peachpit.com for 40% off!

Episode Transcript

Mike Rohde: Hey everyone, it's Mike and I'm here with Lena Pehrs. Lena, great to have you on the show.

Lena Pehrs: Thank you, Mike. Very excited to be here.

MR: I'm excited to have you because I've been following and chatting with you on LinkedIn for, I don't know, about two years or something like that, a year and a half, something like that.

LP: Yeah.

MR: And we have been having a good discussion, and I just thought you're just a great person to have on the show. So here we are.

LP: Thank you.

MR: I'd love to hear more about what you do and how you think about visualization in your context and the people that you work with. So, let's begin first by you telling us who you are and what you do.

LP: Well, I'm a management consultant. And I live in Stockholm, Sweden. Well, I do what normal management consultants do, but I do it with a lot of visual thinking and visualization.

MR: Great. So is that your secret superpower for your clients, would you say?

LP: Yeah, I think so. And I think that the analysis is really the image, so it works together that when you start thinking with visual thinking, you start to analyzing things in a different way. you start to see the world in a slightly different way. And I think it's really a means of getting better understanding and cooperation towards the goals you want to achieve. So it's really fundamental for change. Yeah, that is the secret sauce.

MR: I assume that you probably work on some paper or whiteboards or something like that. Is that the typical tool that you use with your clients? Or are you using iPad? What is the tool that you would use to help them and guide them?

LP: That would be a mix. I really prefer what happens in the room when you co-create together. And then I think that big white papers on the walls and pens, and like this tactile thing as well, really helps because for me it's important that the image, this visualization, it's not mine, it's the client's. So I really need their buy-in. It should be their pictures, their thoughts, their visual thinking really. So when you do it on paper, that really helps.

I always know that when two clients are standing in front of the wall and discuss, "Okay, this is the problem and this is how we're going to solve it." I know that, you know, it's their picture, but of course during the pandemic this wasn't available. So working with digital tools are a good way to—it's very practical. You don't really get the same creative buy-in, I think. But of course, you need to combine these. So for all these Zoom meetings, digital tools are good and they do the job. But if I can choose, I go for pen.

MR: Yeah. In person, maybe it adds a little something. I would think the other benefit, and correct me if I'm wrong, is by focusing on the paper and drawing your image, that the focus becomes on the paper, and maybe not even on yourself, you can become a little bit separated from the thing that you're doing. Rather than being about me, it's about the problem we're solving.

And that changes the relationship, I think, to the problem solving with clients with you. Or it opens it up for you to speak into that when they now detach themselves from the problem. The problem is there and we together try to solve it.

LP: Yeah.

MR: Yeah. Interesting. Interesting.

LP: And I think that in all these kind of discussions and workshops, it's always a challenge that ideas kind of fly up in the air. And when you manage to get them down on paper, then people can more build on each other's ideas. Which makes problem-solving so much better. So that is also like the process.

MR: Interesting. So basically, if I were to encapsulate what you're doing, you're bringing clients in maybe one or multiple, and then you're basically facilitating and guiding them to the wall to visualize their problems and then guiding them towards potential solutions to their management issues, whatever it is.

LP: Yeah.

MR: I think you mentioned when we chatted that you're heavily into change management. Am I right about that?

LP: Yeah.

MR: Which is difficult at best, right? Moving through change is really hard.

LP: Yes.

MR: So that's really fascinating. Maybe we can get into that a little bit more when we talk about projects you're working on. So I'm really curious now, how did you come to the place where you are now? When you were a little girl, did you love drawing? Were you able to keep drawing through school where maybe others stopped drawing? Like what is your story, your origin story for that?

LP: Yeah. I loved drawing when I grew up. So I would spend a lot of time drawing and painting and all kind of creative stuff. Just, you know, spending a lot of time in my teens just sitting at home and drawing, drawing, drawing. I really enjoyed it. And then I chose to go to university to have a master of science in industrial engineering. And even though I love that, I love maths, I actually love like solid mechanics and this kind of subjects.

But it was a world with a lot of right and wrong and linear thinking. So after five years at university, I couldn't draw anymore. That had killed my creativity in drawing 'cause then I try to draw something that was perfect and correct, and that's not just possible. So I stopped drawing and I did other kind of creative things like photography or baking or gardening and all those kind of things. But I didn't draw for almost 20 years.

MR: Wow. Wow.

LP: Yeah. And then I had a colleague that said like, "Well, Lena, why don't you join me for this? There's something called graphic facilitation, and I think since you like to draw, maybe should join me." And that's like 2014, I think. And I went to that course and I was like, "Yeah, wow, this is something. This is interesting."

But I thought I was a really a long—I didn't see how I would be able to incorporate that into what I was doing. How am I going to use this like in project management or change management. That was a big mental step for me. But I started drawing then and trying more and more. And then also outta LinkedIn, I kind of found Dario Paniagua—

MR: Oh yeah. Of course.

LP: —in Milan, and I was like, "Oh, someone doing this in Milan. I like Milan. I could go to Milan, we could have a chat." And then he was like, "Well, you know, Lena, I do these training courses." And I was like, "Okay, he might be skilled at this." So I was like, "Well, I'll give it a try. I can always learn something. "And then when I came to Dario and had like a two-days one-to-one training course, that was just amazing.

MR: Oh, I bet.

LP: Yeah.

MR: I would take that. That would be fun.

LP: Really a big eyeopener. Yeah. It was fun, and it was very challenging as well 'cause It's so much about—a lot of people talk about deschooling and, you know, change the way you think. And I think that is really the hard part of it. You need to start to think in a new way. And you don't do that from one day to another. It takes a lot of training and it takes a lot of quite a hard work.

MR: So that really was the part that opened you up to doing this graphic facilitation. So at that point, after you took Dario's intensive class, so was part of that having Dario help you think about how you integrate this visual thinking into your already a normal practice?

LP: Yes. So I've started—I see myself as really exploring the field and inventing it as I go and trying out different things. And sometimes, a lot of the times, the first years it was really the customers who invented the service 'cause They would come to me and say, "Oh, we have this problem and I know that you draw. Maybe could you help us facilitate this IT strategy?" I was like, "Yeah, we can give it a try."

And then quite often it's amazing that it turns out really in a mix of creative and very efficient. You get like fast forward in some processes and you reach decisions really much more quickly. And in the same time, like with this IT strategy process, well, it was so fun and people didn't want to leave.

And you know, the workshops normally you kind of lose energy during the day, but when we were drawing, this was so fun. It's like, okay. So, I don't always know beforehand what it will be like. And then sometimes it's turn out fantastic and sometimes it's turn out just like more normal.

MR: Normal.

LP: Yeah.

MR: That has to be exciting. Like, I've spoken to people before when I do sketchnoting, when I do any kind of live thing or speaking, like for some people, the possibility that it could go wrong is really scary and it pushes them away from doing it. But I encourage them, like, that's the exciting part that, you know, you could fail and then you actually deliver makes it a lot more satisfying, right? Or it forces you, puts you in a corner to deliver, right? And then your training comes out—

LP: Yeah. I think it's been very hard. I sometimes people tell you that, you know, speaking in front of people is one of the worst things, you know, people are having anxiety about. And I'm like, well, that's just because the option to draw in front of people aren't like on the list of things you can choose. Because for some reason that really scares us so much.

MR: Yeah.

LP: And it's silly. Why? 'Cause I mean, the purpose of it is for us to understand each other better. Actually a lot of the time, it's good if it's not perfect. Because if it's not perfect, people feel invited to be part of the creative process. They feel invited to contribute. And if it's too perfect, it looks like it's something finished.

So I found like for change management, it's good if it's like a drawing by hand and by pen. It's not perfect. It's not polished. It's something manmade and it makes people want to communicate which is really the base. I mean, if you want to change, you need communication, and that's it. You need a goal and you need good communication.

MR: I wonder sometimes if part of the fear of drawing in front of people is "They're gonna discover my real self." Like I'm revealing something that I can't—you know, like with words you can sort of hide a little bit, right? With drawing it's harder unless you practice—

LP: Since our brains are really wired into understanding and thinking in pictures. I think it's something with the connection between how we think and what comes out. So we have this picture in our mind, and if the thing on the paper doesn't come out as the picture in our mind, it's easy to think that it's something wrong.

MR: Yeah.

LP: And we don't have that connection with words, so we don't expect it to be perfect.

MR: That's true.

LP: And also, I think images are such a powerful tool for communicating. And when it's powerful, it's also more difficult to manage because it can go what we feel is in the wrong direction.

MR: Right. Right. That's a good point. So now what you're doing as your primary work is this kind of work where you bring clients into a room, ideally, with papers on the wall, hand them markers, and then you begin to draw the problem and then work through solutions with them.

LP: Yeah. Basically. So it can look a bit different. Sometimes it's a long like change management kind of program with the management team and the organization. And sometimes it's more like with a team and, you know, a two-day planning session for the year to come or something like that. But the base of it is creating visuals together.

MR: Where is a collaborative experience.

LP: Yeah.

MR: So one last question about this. Specifically, what happens to the drawings after you're done? Do you capture them in a document? Do you sit down and—or does everyone write down these solutions and then get out the calendar and plan when things will happen? I would think that you'd want to capture that moment and then immediately turn it into action, right? I would suspect that's really the end point is getting it into an action state of some kind.

LP: A lot of the time we would have like a structure and an idea for the final image. So the end result of a two-day workshop will be like a roadmap for the year to come. And a lot of clients would put that up on the wall in the office. And then of course, also having it in a digital version that you can have in your PowerPoints or wherever.

MR: Interesting. So then they would just always—like, if it's in the office where they are and they come in the morning with their coffee, they look on the wall and "There is the thing that we all worked on together." And you can see like your progress, right? That's pretty cool.

LP: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you can add some post-its when you have finished things off and you can, you know, change and work with it.

MR: That's different than I think one of the challenges of graphic recording, you know, where you're capturing what someone's saying. A lot of times, like I've heard stories from people on the show where they found that all their work was like rolled up and in the trash, and they had to pull it on the trash, right. So, it's sort of like this thing, which was nice to have in the moment and, you know, it was just there as an entertainment or something.

So really, I think for visual thinkers, the stress is on how do we move it from just being this nice to have experience in the moment to actually being a map that you can look at and drive the company from, right? And make sure you're on track. Sounds like that's what you really do.

LP: Yeah. And I think it's important that it's something you need to solve an essential problem for the customer. That's when it gets to be something important and to make them part of it, the drawing so that they really feel that it's their drawing. And then I've had sometimes, like early like one of the first jobs I did when I started to use this method, I was just, you know, with the management team, we had interviewed them and I was just drawing the summary instead of writing it. And after this—and the drawing wasn't even, it wasn't good, to be honest.

MR: Pretty rough. Yeah.

LP: I don't think so. It wasn't just a rough drawing. And then we showed it to the management team, and some weeks later, the communication manager asked the team, "So what kind of material do you need now to go out to talk to all the staff? Do you now need brochures or do you need PowerPoints? What do you want us to provide you with?"

And one of the managers who had like the biggest division, he was like, "I just need Lena's picture." "Okay, but what do you need? Like PowerPoints?" "No, no, no, no. Can I just have that picture? I can take that picture and start to talk about this." And then if I had known that they were going to use this rough drawing for two years, I would have put in a lot more effort. But it was really something—because it was theirs. It was theirs thoughts and expressions and metaphors so they just took it and used it.

MR: That's interesting you've mentioned that. I've forgotten about this, but I had an experience like this many years ago where I sat and I sketchnoted someone talking about their vision. And I shared it with them, of course. This is when I was user experience designer, and they were talking about a vision for this medical product. So I sort of just listened and captured what I was hearing.

And the guy came back, I don't know, a month later or something like that, and his book, he had photocopies that he had printed and he carried them around everywhere. And he was referring to it. Like, that was the map. This is what I talked about. It's all captured, it's all right here. And he was using it just like that, right. It was the thing could speak against and say, well, then we're gonna—like, everything was mapped the way he was thinking, I just happened to listen and capture what he said.

So that was a really impactful for me. Like, wow. I just thought it was just, you know, throwaway. It was just me listening, right? But for him it's really meaningful, which is really cool. That's sort of woke me up a little bit in that moment. Like, okay, the things that I'm doing here are really powerful and useful. And I should remember that, you know even the most rough thing that I think could be pretty valuable for somebody else. Assuming again, that we're capturing their thinking and their ideas.

LP: Exactly.

MR: You're just being the scribe in that case. In that case it gets really, really super powerful.

LP: Yeah. When you kind of manage to mirror their way of thinking, that's really a useful tool. It's very powerful.

MR: And I do that for myself. So, as an example, I did a workshop last year, and in my bullet journal, I went to my favorite cafe. I got my favorite drink, and I sat down and I opened a blank spread and I just dumped everything I was thinking on that two pages and poured it all out. And that was basically the basis for the workshop. I basically laid that spread open, and did all my preparation and the other, like, I write a script and make a list of things and to-do lists, like everything was—but that was the basis, that two-page spread in my notebook, so I could see it and practice even in my own life too. So I can see how powerful it's for others as well.

LP: Yeah.

MR: That's a good reminder—

LP: Yeah. And it's also what I think that I'm like, "Why didn't I know this when I went to school? If I had known, that would have made life so much easier."

MR: Yeah. Yeah, I think so too. And that's a lot of the reason why I am so involved in educational spaces. Teaching this to teachers, integrating it into curriculum because kids naturally kind of do this, this is the way they express. So really, it's less about teaching the kids how to draw. I mean, that's one part of it, but a lot of it is protecting them to keep drawing.

So they make it as a tool, right? And then if they can hold onto that through university into work, that's really powerful. Something we didn't have, but we can then give that as a gift to the next generations behind us, so.

LP: Yeah. And it's also quite common that I have customers that are like, "Well, we have this strategy document and it's like 35 PowerPoint slides. We think we would need it as one picture. Can you do that?" And I was like, "Yeah. It can be done."

MR: That's what I do. Yeah. So on that point, I would love to hear just something in the moment, what's something you're really excited about working on now? You don't of course have to say the company name or any of that, but more like, what's the project that you're working on that you're excited about? Maybe it's this 35-page PowerPoint that you're converting into a single image or something. What would be something that's happening right now for you?

LP: Well, currently I'm working on writing and drawing a book about change management, and really trying to make the pictures, holding a lot of the message to really, I think—I'm very inspired by a book I read some years ago, "Art Thinking" by Amy Whitaker.

MR: Yes. I have that one. Yep.

LP: Yeah. And I think like it's time for art thinking in leadership, and that's somewhere I want to like, explore more, how can we really—I think there's a huge—we have so much change that we need to do in this world now so change management, we really need to get so good at this. And I think also that we need a lot of clarity of mind and we need a lot of cooperation. And I think visual thinking is really a very powerful tool in this area. So that is what I'm trying to get together in a book about how to manage change and how to do it with a lot of visuals.

MR: I would love to read that book.

LP: I will send you a copy.

MR: Yeah, we'll definitely we'll have to mention it to all the sketchnote people on the site and in the slack as well, so people can go check it out. That's great.

LP: Mm-hmm.

MR: Well, I wish you well with that. I know how difficult it is to write a book, how much work it is. It's a lot of work.

LP: Yeah.

MR: And then when you're done with the book, you're only halfway done because now you have to convince people to buy the book which is its own challenge, but I think you're up for the task. So I'm excited about that.

Great. Well, I think what I would love to do now is switch into what are the tools that you like to use? We'll start first with analog tools. And maybe this can probably pretty focus on your client work, I suppose, although personally I'm sure you use some things. And then we'll switch into digital tools that you like after that.

LP: For workshops, I'm a big fan of Neuland. So I use a lot of their pens and paper. And that's basically it. Well, post-its and stuff as well, but a lot of Neuland markers. And the refillables, it's really good. For personal, I'm a big fan of pens and books. I buy loads. At the moment I'm really enjoying drawing with a fountain pen, an ink, and combining that with watercolors.

And since I read your book again this spring, I started to buy these Moleskine books and started sketchnoting again with Neuland pens. And then I swapped over to more the fountain pen, and I use basically whatever. I think that is a good way to get new energy to buy a new pen.

MR: Yeah. That's a good point. "I must use this pen." So you'll find a reason to use it, right?

LP: Yeah.

MR: In a lot of ways. With your fountain pen, I'm assuming you must be using some waterproof ink if you're doing watercolor with it. I suppose, right?

LP: Yeah. Yeah.

MR: Is there a specific ink that you like better than others for that?

LP: No, I just bought some. I don't remember the brand actually, but I checked so that it would be waterproof.

MR: Okay. Yeah. I think one that I've heard of and I've not tried yet is Noodlers Ink. Which I guess has a variety of colors, but is waterproof? So that's one that I, I'm pretty aware of. What about which fountain pen have you settled on? Or are you still using a variety of them?

LP: I have just started this—so I bought a Pilot fountain pen, and I love it. So I'm thinking that I probably need several. This was—

MR: Of course.

LP: Yeah. I bought a fine tip, so it's really, really fine. And I'm like, I might need a medium one soon.

MR: Yeah. Is that the—

LP: But I love the—

MR: —is that the vanishing point? The pilot vanishing point? I think that's the one where the tip is more covered by the barrel, if I remember right?

LP: Mm-hmm.

MR: But I'm sure they have more than that pen in their collection.

LP: Yeah, I just bought it. I don't really know which one it was.

MR: So Lena, when you find out which pens and inks you have, you can just email me and I'll put it in the show notes because others might be thinking, "Oh, now I need a Pilot fountain pen and Ink," so that then they can get the same one you have and then they could benefit from your learning.

LP: I shall do that.

MR: Great. It sounds like you do watercolor. Is there any markers that you use with your sketchnoting as well? Like, do you grab Neuland markers and use those for sketchnoting? Or do you have some other tools when you're working in the Moleskine book?

LP: Yeah. No, that would be mostly Neuland.

MR: Okay. Those are raw.

LP: And then for my book—yeah. The fine ones at the moment.

MR: Okay. Yeah. Yeah.

LP:: Yeah. But also working with my book, I bought like this markers on the gray scale, so I have 10 different versions of gray to work in black and white.

MR: That's great. Now what about digital? I assume that you must be doing some kind of digital work, but I don't know what all you might be doing. Are you using an iPad or some other tool?

LP: Yeah. I have an iPad Pro that I've had for six years. So I would draw some on that one, either with a pen or inspired by Dario, where I would like draw with my finger. But I also have a Microsoft Surface Pro that I draw with. I actually prefer the Microsoft Pen 'cause the nib is like slightly with a feather, so it's more—

MR: It's got a spring on it, I think. Right?

LP: Yeah. Yeah.

MR: Spring loaded.

LP: Yeah. So I work with that with like a sketchbook app.

MR: Yeah. That's a really common one. Been around for a long time.

LP: Yeah. Yeah.

MR: That's great. I played around with Microsoft Surface in the past and I kind of liked it. It was a nice environment, I think at the time because it was early in its life. There weren't really many tools available. I don't even know if, I guess Sketchbook probably was available for that, and that was probably what I used.

But I felt like there was a limited choice of tools on that platform, which I'm sure is not the case anymore. I'm sure there are many other drawing tools for that. I know Concepts I think works on the surface as well, which is a vector-based drawing tool, but does offer lots of control.

LP: But to be honest, I kind of, sometimes I work just with PowerPoint. I find PowerPoint a really useful tool. So if I'm just doing something, you know, for a presentation or something as simple drawing, I would do it right directly in PowerPoint. Yeah.

MR: Yeah. I would think that the built-in tools on the surface are also probably improved a lot too, so that you can write in the Office stuff, right. PowerPoint and whatever.

LP: Yeah.

MR: That's really—

LP: But if I want to make a drawing that it's more complex, I would actually do it on paper and then use my scanner.

MR: I see.

LP: And then maybe add something in the sketchbook. But otherwise I think pen and paper is really easier for me, quicker.

MR: So now is there a tool on on the iPad that you prefer when you do use the iPad?

LP: I think I've been using like Procreate and also Adobe Draw.

MR: Okay.

LP: Or Fresco is the new name for it, isn't?

MR: Fresco, yeah. I think so. Yeah.

LP: Because sometimes then I think it's a bit of a problem for me that I change what app I use and I forget how to do it. And then it's like, "Okay, you need to do this because we need it vector based." And then I use another app, so I'm all over the place there.

MR: So almost need to like pick one and stick with it and know it really well, I suppose.

LP: Yeah. Yeah.

MR: Interesting. So now that we've done tools and it sounds like you've got quite a variety, let's talk a little bit about tips for listeners. Usually, the way I frame it is, imagine someone's listening, they're a visual thinker of some kind, maybe they're in a place where they just need a little encouragement. What would be three things you would encourage them with in their visual thinking work?

LP: Yeah, I think, and of course it depends on who it is and where they are in this journey to really work with visuals. But I think for me, one really important key is metaphors. It's really the way we understand the world and it affects so much on how we're thinking.

So if you want to explain abstract concepts and different like specialties, metaphors, or really where you need to work and if you want to—'cause I think this is a part that has been really hard for me, I've had to put a lot of energy into really start to think in metaphors. And I think if you want to improve that and want some new energy in that like you can take a creative writing class 'cause they use this a lot. Or you can actually like start to read poetry.

And of course, you can also, like Dario has this excellent online content with ideas and methods on how to develop metaphors. So that I think is really key to make your visuals explain things and to tell a story. And I think also really, a key thing in change management is to tell a story. So explore metaphors. And then I think this spring, I've spent a lot of time online where I think there are such a lot of great thinkers that share a lot of good material.

And I think another key is to get good structure in your drawings and in your discussions. And I think that like Dave Gray, with his visual framework. I think that is just amazing and so useful. So if you want to get inspiration on how to structure a problem and then structure a drawing, then definitely check that out.

And also if you're stuck, and I must say, because this was so fun when I started to look at your YouTube videos and workshops ,I think to change the format. 'Cause I also think that the format is really a base for how we think. This format you choose supports your thinking. So swapping format can be really energy boosting.

So when I went from large papers on the wall and I started like, okay, I'll buy a Moleskine and do the sketchnoting kind of approach, I was amazed that something happened with my brain. I was like, "Wow, this is so fun and this is so—and I can do this and that." So to try and change formats actually, I think can do wonders.

MR: So of remap yourself to a new format. It's a new challenge too, right? Because you have to take the things, you know, and the other thing. Like, for me, it would be the other direction, right? So, whenever I have to do large format, which I did last spring, it was a real—it was a fun challenge. Like I was excited, like how will I solve this, right? I'm a problem solver.

So when I go into this, like I've got this big board, like I have to rethink all my orientation and my proportions, everything, which marker I'm using, how many times do I need to draw to get the stroke as wide as I want, right? Those are new problems, but it's fun to see it. You know, we have this immediacy in the work we do that you can immediately see whether it's working or not, and then tear off the page and then start again and learn from it, right?

So same thing in the other direction, right? You probably had to take all these large format ways of working and then you press them onto the page, which is probably fun in a different way.

PL: Yeah. Yeah. And liberating in some way to take away some pressure, I think there.

MR: Yeah. Have some fun.

PL: Yeah. That is also always essential and really a key to be able to be creative, have some fun, but sometimes when you're standing there and you're at the client's site, it's not easy, but absolutely.

MR: That could be your fourth tip, have some fun.

PL: Yeah. Yeah. That always. And also I think another good tip there is go play with children. I think that is a great way to have some fun and boost your creativity. Draw with them. They're fun.

MR: Yeah. It's fun to draw with kids. I draw with my kids. Probably not as much as I should, but I always enjoy drawing with my son especially, we make comic books together, so it's really fun. He'll do part and I'll do part and we need to do that again in summer, so.

PL: It's great. Mm-hmm.

MR: Well, Lena, it's been so good to have you on the show. Already we've gone through the show and here we are at the end. I can't believe that the time has gone so fast. But thank you so much for the work you're doing and how you're impacting the people who are around you. We so need you in the world to do that. Thank you for your work and for your sharing here, so others can be inspired and maybe get some ideas for ways they can change or improve the way they work.

PL: Well, thank you, Mike. It's been really a pleasure, and I'm really a huge fan.

MR: Well, thank you so much. Thank you. And next time I'm in Sweden, I will certainly reach out and we'll have a coffee at least. Maybe do some drawing together. That would be fun.

PL: That would be amazing.

MR: Yeah. Well, for everyone who's listening or watching, this is another episode of the Sketchnote Army Podcast. Till the next episode, talk to you soon.

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תוכן מסופק על ידי Sketchnote Army Podcast and Mike Rohde. כל תוכן הפודקאסטים כולל פרקים, גרפיקה ותיאורי פודקאסטים מועלים ומסופקים ישירות על ידי Sketchnote Army Podcast and Mike Rohde או שותף פלטפורמת הפודקאסט שלו. אם אתה מאמין שמישהו משתמש ביצירה שלך המוגנת בזכויות יוצרים ללא רשותך, אתה יכול לעקוב אחר התהליך המתואר כאן https://he.player.fm/legal.

In this episode, Lena Pehrs shares how she explores and co-creates change management solutions with her clients with visuals.

Sponsored by Concepts

This episode of the Sketchnote Army Podcast is brought to you by Concepts, a perfect tool for sketchnoting, available on iOS, Windows, and Android.

Concepts' vector-based drawing feature gives you the power to adjust your drawings saving hours and hours of rework.

Vectors provide clean, crisp, high-resolution output for your sketchnotes at any size you need s ideal for sketchnoting.

SEARCH in your favorite app store to give it a try.

Running Order

  • Intro
  • Welcome
  • Who is Lena
  • Origin Story
  • Lena’s current work
  • Sponsor: Concepts
  • Tips
  • Tools
  • Where to find Lena
  • Outro

Links

Amazon affiliate links support the Sketchnote Army Podcast.

Tools

Amazon affiliate links support the Sketchnote Army Podcast.

Tips

  1. Explore metaphors by taking creative or poetry classes.
  2. Get good structure in your drawing.
  3. Try and change format.
  4. Have some fun.
  5. Play with children. Draw with them.

Credits

  • Producer: Alec Pulianas
  • Shownotes and transcripts: Esther Odoro
  • Theme music: Jon Schiedermayer

Subscribe to the Sketchnote Army Podcast

You can subscribe to the podcast through iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube or your favorite podcast listening source.

Support the Podcast

To support the creation, production and hosting of the Sketchnote Army Podcast, buy one of Mike Rohde’s bestselling books. Use code ROHDE40 at Peachpit.com for 40% off!

Episode Transcript

Mike Rohde: Hey everyone, it's Mike and I'm here with Lena Pehrs. Lena, great to have you on the show.

Lena Pehrs: Thank you, Mike. Very excited to be here.

MR: I'm excited to have you because I've been following and chatting with you on LinkedIn for, I don't know, about two years or something like that, a year and a half, something like that.

LP: Yeah.

MR: And we have been having a good discussion, and I just thought you're just a great person to have on the show. So here we are.

LP: Thank you.

MR: I'd love to hear more about what you do and how you think about visualization in your context and the people that you work with. So, let's begin first by you telling us who you are and what you do.

LP: Well, I'm a management consultant. And I live in Stockholm, Sweden. Well, I do what normal management consultants do, but I do it with a lot of visual thinking and visualization.

MR: Great. So is that your secret superpower for your clients, would you say?

LP: Yeah, I think so. And I think that the analysis is really the image, so it works together that when you start thinking with visual thinking, you start to analyzing things in a different way. you start to see the world in a slightly different way. And I think it's really a means of getting better understanding and cooperation towards the goals you want to achieve. So it's really fundamental for change. Yeah, that is the secret sauce.

MR: I assume that you probably work on some paper or whiteboards or something like that. Is that the typical tool that you use with your clients? Or are you using iPad? What is the tool that you would use to help them and guide them?

LP: That would be a mix. I really prefer what happens in the room when you co-create together. And then I think that big white papers on the walls and pens, and like this tactile thing as well, really helps because for me it's important that the image, this visualization, it's not mine, it's the client's. So I really need their buy-in. It should be their pictures, their thoughts, their visual thinking really. So when you do it on paper, that really helps.

I always know that when two clients are standing in front of the wall and discuss, "Okay, this is the problem and this is how we're going to solve it." I know that, you know, it's their picture, but of course during the pandemic this wasn't available. So working with digital tools are a good way to—it's very practical. You don't really get the same creative buy-in, I think. But of course, you need to combine these. So for all these Zoom meetings, digital tools are good and they do the job. But if I can choose, I go for pen.

MR: Yeah. In person, maybe it adds a little something. I would think the other benefit, and correct me if I'm wrong, is by focusing on the paper and drawing your image, that the focus becomes on the paper, and maybe not even on yourself, you can become a little bit separated from the thing that you're doing. Rather than being about me, it's about the problem we're solving.

And that changes the relationship, I think, to the problem solving with clients with you. Or it opens it up for you to speak into that when they now detach themselves from the problem. The problem is there and we together try to solve it.

LP: Yeah.

MR: Yeah. Interesting. Interesting.

LP: And I think that in all these kind of discussions and workshops, it's always a challenge that ideas kind of fly up in the air. And when you manage to get them down on paper, then people can more build on each other's ideas. Which makes problem-solving so much better. So that is also like the process.

MR: Interesting. So basically, if I were to encapsulate what you're doing, you're bringing clients in maybe one or multiple, and then you're basically facilitating and guiding them to the wall to visualize their problems and then guiding them towards potential solutions to their management issues, whatever it is.

LP: Yeah.

MR: I think you mentioned when we chatted that you're heavily into change management. Am I right about that?

LP: Yeah.

MR: Which is difficult at best, right? Moving through change is really hard.

LP: Yes.

MR: So that's really fascinating. Maybe we can get into that a little bit more when we talk about projects you're working on. So I'm really curious now, how did you come to the place where you are now? When you were a little girl, did you love drawing? Were you able to keep drawing through school where maybe others stopped drawing? Like what is your story, your origin story for that?

LP: Yeah. I loved drawing when I grew up. So I would spend a lot of time drawing and painting and all kind of creative stuff. Just, you know, spending a lot of time in my teens just sitting at home and drawing, drawing, drawing. I really enjoyed it. And then I chose to go to university to have a master of science in industrial engineering. And even though I love that, I love maths, I actually love like solid mechanics and this kind of subjects.

But it was a world with a lot of right and wrong and linear thinking. So after five years at university, I couldn't draw anymore. That had killed my creativity in drawing 'cause then I try to draw something that was perfect and correct, and that's not just possible. So I stopped drawing and I did other kind of creative things like photography or baking or gardening and all those kind of things. But I didn't draw for almost 20 years.

MR: Wow. Wow.

LP: Yeah. And then I had a colleague that said like, "Well, Lena, why don't you join me for this? There's something called graphic facilitation, and I think since you like to draw, maybe should join me." And that's like 2014, I think. And I went to that course and I was like, "Yeah, wow, this is something. This is interesting."

But I thought I was a really a long—I didn't see how I would be able to incorporate that into what I was doing. How am I going to use this like in project management or change management. That was a big mental step for me. But I started drawing then and trying more and more. And then also outta LinkedIn, I kind of found Dario Paniagua—

MR: Oh yeah. Of course.

LP: —in Milan, and I was like, "Oh, someone doing this in Milan. I like Milan. I could go to Milan, we could have a chat." And then he was like, "Well, you know, Lena, I do these training courses." And I was like, "Okay, he might be skilled at this." So I was like, "Well, I'll give it a try. I can always learn something. "And then when I came to Dario and had like a two-days one-to-one training course, that was just amazing.

MR: Oh, I bet.

LP: Yeah.

MR: I would take that. That would be fun.

LP: Really a big eyeopener. Yeah. It was fun, and it was very challenging as well 'cause It's so much about—a lot of people talk about deschooling and, you know, change the way you think. And I think that is really the hard part of it. You need to start to think in a new way. And you don't do that from one day to another. It takes a lot of training and it takes a lot of quite a hard work.

MR: So that really was the part that opened you up to doing this graphic facilitation. So at that point, after you took Dario's intensive class, so was part of that having Dario help you think about how you integrate this visual thinking into your already a normal practice?

LP: Yes. So I've started—I see myself as really exploring the field and inventing it as I go and trying out different things. And sometimes, a lot of the times, the first years it was really the customers who invented the service 'cause They would come to me and say, "Oh, we have this problem and I know that you draw. Maybe could you help us facilitate this IT strategy?" I was like, "Yeah, we can give it a try."

And then quite often it's amazing that it turns out really in a mix of creative and very efficient. You get like fast forward in some processes and you reach decisions really much more quickly. And in the same time, like with this IT strategy process, well, it was so fun and people didn't want to leave.

And you know, the workshops normally you kind of lose energy during the day, but when we were drawing, this was so fun. It's like, okay. So, I don't always know beforehand what it will be like. And then sometimes it's turn out fantastic and sometimes it's turn out just like more normal.

MR: Normal.

LP: Yeah.

MR: That has to be exciting. Like, I've spoken to people before when I do sketchnoting, when I do any kind of live thing or speaking, like for some people, the possibility that it could go wrong is really scary and it pushes them away from doing it. But I encourage them, like, that's the exciting part that, you know, you could fail and then you actually deliver makes it a lot more satisfying, right? Or it forces you, puts you in a corner to deliver, right? And then your training comes out—

LP: Yeah. I think it's been very hard. I sometimes people tell you that, you know, speaking in front of people is one of the worst things, you know, people are having anxiety about. And I'm like, well, that's just because the option to draw in front of people aren't like on the list of things you can choose. Because for some reason that really scares us so much.

MR: Yeah.

LP: And it's silly. Why? 'Cause I mean, the purpose of it is for us to understand each other better. Actually a lot of the time, it's good if it's not perfect. Because if it's not perfect, people feel invited to be part of the creative process. They feel invited to contribute. And if it's too perfect, it looks like it's something finished.

So I found like for change management, it's good if it's like a drawing by hand and by pen. It's not perfect. It's not polished. It's something manmade and it makes people want to communicate which is really the base. I mean, if you want to change, you need communication, and that's it. You need a goal and you need good communication.

MR: I wonder sometimes if part of the fear of drawing in front of people is "They're gonna discover my real self." Like I'm revealing something that I can't—you know, like with words you can sort of hide a little bit, right? With drawing it's harder unless you practice—

LP: Since our brains are really wired into understanding and thinking in pictures. I think it's something with the connection between how we think and what comes out. So we have this picture in our mind, and if the thing on the paper doesn't come out as the picture in our mind, it's easy to think that it's something wrong.

MR: Yeah.

LP: And we don't have that connection with words, so we don't expect it to be perfect.

MR: That's true.

LP: And also, I think images are such a powerful tool for communicating. And when it's powerful, it's also more difficult to manage because it can go what we feel is in the wrong direction.

MR: Right. Right. That's a good point. So now what you're doing as your primary work is this kind of work where you bring clients into a room, ideally, with papers on the wall, hand them markers, and then you begin to draw the problem and then work through solutions with them.

LP: Yeah. Basically. So it can look a bit different. Sometimes it's a long like change management kind of program with the management team and the organization. And sometimes it's more like with a team and, you know, a two-day planning session for the year to come or something like that. But the base of it is creating visuals together.

MR: Where is a collaborative experience.

LP: Yeah.

MR: So one last question about this. Specifically, what happens to the drawings after you're done? Do you capture them in a document? Do you sit down and—or does everyone write down these solutions and then get out the calendar and plan when things will happen? I would think that you'd want to capture that moment and then immediately turn it into action, right? I would suspect that's really the end point is getting it into an action state of some kind.

LP: A lot of the time we would have like a structure and an idea for the final image. So the end result of a two-day workshop will be like a roadmap for the year to come. And a lot of clients would put that up on the wall in the office. And then of course, also having it in a digital version that you can have in your PowerPoints or wherever.

MR: Interesting. So then they would just always—like, if it's in the office where they are and they come in the morning with their coffee, they look on the wall and "There is the thing that we all worked on together." And you can see like your progress, right? That's pretty cool.

LP: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you can add some post-its when you have finished things off and you can, you know, change and work with it.

MR: That's different than I think one of the challenges of graphic recording, you know, where you're capturing what someone's saying. A lot of times, like I've heard stories from people on the show where they found that all their work was like rolled up and in the trash, and they had to pull it on the trash, right. So, it's sort of like this thing, which was nice to have in the moment and, you know, it was just there as an entertainment or something.

So really, I think for visual thinkers, the stress is on how do we move it from just being this nice to have experience in the moment to actually being a map that you can look at and drive the company from, right? And make sure you're on track. Sounds like that's what you really do.

LP: Yeah. And I think it's important that it's something you need to solve an essential problem for the customer. That's when it gets to be something important and to make them part of it, the drawing so that they really feel that it's their drawing. And then I've had sometimes, like early like one of the first jobs I did when I started to use this method, I was just, you know, with the management team, we had interviewed them and I was just drawing the summary instead of writing it. And after this—and the drawing wasn't even, it wasn't good, to be honest.

MR: Pretty rough. Yeah.

LP: I don't think so. It wasn't just a rough drawing. And then we showed it to the management team, and some weeks later, the communication manager asked the team, "So what kind of material do you need now to go out to talk to all the staff? Do you now need brochures or do you need PowerPoints? What do you want us to provide you with?"

And one of the managers who had like the biggest division, he was like, "I just need Lena's picture." "Okay, but what do you need? Like PowerPoints?" "No, no, no, no. Can I just have that picture? I can take that picture and start to talk about this." And then if I had known that they were going to use this rough drawing for two years, I would have put in a lot more effort. But it was really something—because it was theirs. It was theirs thoughts and expressions and metaphors so they just took it and used it.

MR: That's interesting you've mentioned that. I've forgotten about this, but I had an experience like this many years ago where I sat and I sketchnoted someone talking about their vision. And I shared it with them, of course. This is when I was user experience designer, and they were talking about a vision for this medical product. So I sort of just listened and captured what I was hearing.

And the guy came back, I don't know, a month later or something like that, and his book, he had photocopies that he had printed and he carried them around everywhere. And he was referring to it. Like, that was the map. This is what I talked about. It's all captured, it's all right here. And he was using it just like that, right. It was the thing could speak against and say, well, then we're gonna—like, everything was mapped the way he was thinking, I just happened to listen and capture what he said.

So that was a really impactful for me. Like, wow. I just thought it was just, you know, throwaway. It was just me listening, right? But for him it's really meaningful, which is really cool. That's sort of woke me up a little bit in that moment. Like, okay, the things that I'm doing here are really powerful and useful. And I should remember that, you know even the most rough thing that I think could be pretty valuable for somebody else. Assuming again, that we're capturing their thinking and their ideas.

LP: Exactly.

MR: You're just being the scribe in that case. In that case it gets really, really super powerful.

LP: Yeah. When you kind of manage to mirror their way of thinking, that's really a useful tool. It's very powerful.

MR: And I do that for myself. So, as an example, I did a workshop last year, and in my bullet journal, I went to my favorite cafe. I got my favorite drink, and I sat down and I opened a blank spread and I just dumped everything I was thinking on that two pages and poured it all out. And that was basically the basis for the workshop. I basically laid that spread open, and did all my preparation and the other, like, I write a script and make a list of things and to-do lists, like everything was—but that was the basis, that two-page spread in my notebook, so I could see it and practice even in my own life too. So I can see how powerful it's for others as well.

LP: Yeah.

MR: That's a good reminder—

LP: Yeah. And it's also what I think that I'm like, "Why didn't I know this when I went to school? If I had known, that would have made life so much easier."

MR: Yeah. Yeah, I think so too. And that's a lot of the reason why I am so involved in educational spaces. Teaching this to teachers, integrating it into curriculum because kids naturally kind of do this, this is the way they express. So really, it's less about teaching the kids how to draw. I mean, that's one part of it, but a lot of it is protecting them to keep drawing.

So they make it as a tool, right? And then if they can hold onto that through university into work, that's really powerful. Something we didn't have, but we can then give that as a gift to the next generations behind us, so.

LP: Yeah. And it's also quite common that I have customers that are like, "Well, we have this strategy document and it's like 35 PowerPoint slides. We think we would need it as one picture. Can you do that?" And I was like, "Yeah. It can be done."

MR: That's what I do. Yeah. So on that point, I would love to hear just something in the moment, what's something you're really excited about working on now? You don't of course have to say the company name or any of that, but more like, what's the project that you're working on that you're excited about? Maybe it's this 35-page PowerPoint that you're converting into a single image or something. What would be something that's happening right now for you?

LP: Well, currently I'm working on writing and drawing a book about change management, and really trying to make the pictures, holding a lot of the message to really, I think—I'm very inspired by a book I read some years ago, "Art Thinking" by Amy Whitaker.

MR: Yes. I have that one. Yep.

LP: Yeah. And I think like it's time for art thinking in leadership, and that's somewhere I want to like, explore more, how can we really—I think there's a huge—we have so much change that we need to do in this world now so change management, we really need to get so good at this. And I think also that we need a lot of clarity of mind and we need a lot of cooperation. And I think visual thinking is really a very powerful tool in this area. So that is what I'm trying to get together in a book about how to manage change and how to do it with a lot of visuals.

MR: I would love to read that book.

LP: I will send you a copy.

MR: Yeah, we'll definitely we'll have to mention it to all the sketchnote people on the site and in the slack as well, so people can go check it out. That's great.

LP: Mm-hmm.

MR: Well, I wish you well with that. I know how difficult it is to write a book, how much work it is. It's a lot of work.

LP: Yeah.

MR: And then when you're done with the book, you're only halfway done because now you have to convince people to buy the book which is its own challenge, but I think you're up for the task. So I'm excited about that.

Great. Well, I think what I would love to do now is switch into what are the tools that you like to use? We'll start first with analog tools. And maybe this can probably pretty focus on your client work, I suppose, although personally I'm sure you use some things. And then we'll switch into digital tools that you like after that.

LP: For workshops, I'm a big fan of Neuland. So I use a lot of their pens and paper. And that's basically it. Well, post-its and stuff as well, but a lot of Neuland markers. And the refillables, it's really good. For personal, I'm a big fan of pens and books. I buy loads. At the moment I'm really enjoying drawing with a fountain pen, an ink, and combining that with watercolors.

And since I read your book again this spring, I started to buy these Moleskine books and started sketchnoting again with Neuland pens. And then I swapped over to more the fountain pen, and I use basically whatever. I think that is a good way to get new energy to buy a new pen.

MR: Yeah. That's a good point. "I must use this pen." So you'll find a reason to use it, right?

LP: Yeah.

MR: In a lot of ways. With your fountain pen, I'm assuming you must be using some waterproof ink if you're doing watercolor with it. I suppose, right?

LP: Yeah. Yeah.

MR: Is there a specific ink that you like better than others for that?

LP: No, I just bought some. I don't remember the brand actually, but I checked so that it would be waterproof.

MR: Okay. Yeah. I think one that I've heard of and I've not tried yet is Noodlers Ink. Which I guess has a variety of colors, but is waterproof? So that's one that I, I'm pretty aware of. What about which fountain pen have you settled on? Or are you still using a variety of them?

LP: I have just started this—so I bought a Pilot fountain pen, and I love it. So I'm thinking that I probably need several. This was—

MR: Of course.

LP: Yeah. I bought a fine tip, so it's really, really fine. And I'm like, I might need a medium one soon.

MR: Yeah. Is that the—

LP: But I love the—

MR: —is that the vanishing point? The pilot vanishing point? I think that's the one where the tip is more covered by the barrel, if I remember right?

LP: Mm-hmm.

MR: But I'm sure they have more than that pen in their collection.

LP: Yeah, I just bought it. I don't really know which one it was.

MR: So Lena, when you find out which pens and inks you have, you can just email me and I'll put it in the show notes because others might be thinking, "Oh, now I need a Pilot fountain pen and Ink," so that then they can get the same one you have and then they could benefit from your learning.

LP: I shall do that.

MR: Great. It sounds like you do watercolor. Is there any markers that you use with your sketchnoting as well? Like, do you grab Neuland markers and use those for sketchnoting? Or do you have some other tools when you're working in the Moleskine book?

LP: Yeah. No, that would be mostly Neuland.

MR: Okay. Those are raw.

LP: And then for my book—yeah. The fine ones at the moment.

MR: Okay. Yeah. Yeah.

LP:: Yeah. But also working with my book, I bought like this markers on the gray scale, so I have 10 different versions of gray to work in black and white.

MR: That's great. Now what about digital? I assume that you must be doing some kind of digital work, but I don't know what all you might be doing. Are you using an iPad or some other tool?

LP: Yeah. I have an iPad Pro that I've had for six years. So I would draw some on that one, either with a pen or inspired by Dario, where I would like draw with my finger. But I also have a Microsoft Surface Pro that I draw with. I actually prefer the Microsoft Pen 'cause the nib is like slightly with a feather, so it's more—

MR: It's got a spring on it, I think. Right?

LP: Yeah. Yeah.

MR: Spring loaded.

LP: Yeah. So I work with that with like a sketchbook app.

MR: Yeah. That's a really common one. Been around for a long time.

LP: Yeah. Yeah.

MR: That's great. I played around with Microsoft Surface in the past and I kind of liked it. It was a nice environment, I think at the time because it was early in its life. There weren't really many tools available. I don't even know if, I guess Sketchbook probably was available for that, and that was probably what I used.

But I felt like there was a limited choice of tools on that platform, which I'm sure is not the case anymore. I'm sure there are many other drawing tools for that. I know Concepts I think works on the surface as well, which is a vector-based drawing tool, but does offer lots of control.

LP: But to be honest, I kind of, sometimes I work just with PowerPoint. I find PowerPoint a really useful tool. So if I'm just doing something, you know, for a presentation or something as simple drawing, I would do it right directly in PowerPoint. Yeah.

MR: Yeah. I would think that the built-in tools on the surface are also probably improved a lot too, so that you can write in the Office stuff, right. PowerPoint and whatever.

LP: Yeah.

MR: That's really—

LP: But if I want to make a drawing that it's more complex, I would actually do it on paper and then use my scanner.

MR: I see.

LP: And then maybe add something in the sketchbook. But otherwise I think pen and paper is really easier for me, quicker.

MR: So now is there a tool on on the iPad that you prefer when you do use the iPad?

LP: I think I've been using like Procreate and also Adobe Draw.

MR: Okay.

LP: Or Fresco is the new name for it, isn't?

MR: Fresco, yeah. I think so. Yeah.

LP: Because sometimes then I think it's a bit of a problem for me that I change what app I use and I forget how to do it. And then it's like, "Okay, you need to do this because we need it vector based." And then I use another app, so I'm all over the place there.

MR: So almost need to like pick one and stick with it and know it really well, I suppose.

LP: Yeah. Yeah.

MR: Interesting. So now that we've done tools and it sounds like you've got quite a variety, let's talk a little bit about tips for listeners. Usually, the way I frame it is, imagine someone's listening, they're a visual thinker of some kind, maybe they're in a place where they just need a little encouragement. What would be three things you would encourage them with in their visual thinking work?

LP: Yeah, I think, and of course it depends on who it is and where they are in this journey to really work with visuals. But I think for me, one really important key is metaphors. It's really the way we understand the world and it affects so much on how we're thinking.

So if you want to explain abstract concepts and different like specialties, metaphors, or really where you need to work and if you want to—'cause I think this is a part that has been really hard for me, I've had to put a lot of energy into really start to think in metaphors. And I think if you want to improve that and want some new energy in that like you can take a creative writing class 'cause they use this a lot. Or you can actually like start to read poetry.

And of course, you can also, like Dario has this excellent online content with ideas and methods on how to develop metaphors. So that I think is really key to make your visuals explain things and to tell a story. And I think also really, a key thing in change management is to tell a story. So explore metaphors. And then I think this spring, I've spent a lot of time online where I think there are such a lot of great thinkers that share a lot of good material.

And I think another key is to get good structure in your drawings and in your discussions. And I think that like Dave Gray, with his visual framework. I think that is just amazing and so useful. So if you want to get inspiration on how to structure a problem and then structure a drawing, then definitely check that out.

And also if you're stuck, and I must say, because this was so fun when I started to look at your YouTube videos and workshops ,I think to change the format. 'Cause I also think that the format is really a base for how we think. This format you choose supports your thinking. So swapping format can be really energy boosting.

So when I went from large papers on the wall and I started like, okay, I'll buy a Moleskine and do the sketchnoting kind of approach, I was amazed that something happened with my brain. I was like, "Wow, this is so fun and this is so—and I can do this and that." So to try and change formats actually, I think can do wonders.

MR: So of remap yourself to a new format. It's a new challenge too, right? Because you have to take the things, you know, and the other thing. Like, for me, it would be the other direction, right? So, whenever I have to do large format, which I did last spring, it was a real—it was a fun challenge. Like I was excited, like how will I solve this, right? I'm a problem solver.

So when I go into this, like I've got this big board, like I have to rethink all my orientation and my proportions, everything, which marker I'm using, how many times do I need to draw to get the stroke as wide as I want, right? Those are new problems, but it's fun to see it. You know, we have this immediacy in the work we do that you can immediately see whether it's working or not, and then tear off the page and then start again and learn from it, right?

So same thing in the other direction, right? You probably had to take all these large format ways of working and then you press them onto the page, which is probably fun in a different way.

PL: Yeah. Yeah. And liberating in some way to take away some pressure, I think there.

MR: Yeah. Have some fun.

PL: Yeah. That is also always essential and really a key to be able to be creative, have some fun, but sometimes when you're standing there and you're at the client's site, it's not easy, but absolutely.

MR: That could be your fourth tip, have some fun.

PL: Yeah. Yeah. That always. And also I think another good tip there is go play with children. I think that is a great way to have some fun and boost your creativity. Draw with them. They're fun.

MR: Yeah. It's fun to draw with kids. I draw with my kids. Probably not as much as I should, but I always enjoy drawing with my son especially, we make comic books together, so it's really fun. He'll do part and I'll do part and we need to do that again in summer, so.

PL: It's great. Mm-hmm.

MR: Well, Lena, it's been so good to have you on the show. Already we've gone through the show and here we are at the end. I can't believe that the time has gone so fast. But thank you so much for the work you're doing and how you're impacting the people who are around you. We so need you in the world to do that. Thank you for your work and for your sharing here, so others can be inspired and maybe get some ideas for ways they can change or improve the way they work.

PL: Well, thank you, Mike. It's been really a pleasure, and I'm really a huge fan.

MR: Well, thank you so much. Thank you. And next time I'm in Sweden, I will certainly reach out and we'll have a coffee at least. Maybe do some drawing together. That would be fun.

PL: That would be amazing.

MR: Yeah. Well, for everyone who's listening or watching, this is another episode of the Sketchnote Army Podcast. Till the next episode, talk to you soon.

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