Why graphic recording?


A keynote is a rallying point. When we convene in the midst of big change, we can feel overwhelmed. It's a struggle to get a grasp on the current reality. It's daunting to reimagine a brighter future. We may feel bogged down by legacy stuff: the baggage of blocks, our wariness of past solutions that have fallen short. Can we really band together to start thinking differently, both as individuals and as collectives? Can we overcome organizational culture, habitual turf protection, and fear of the unknown?

A keynote is a pause in the work. We convene to reaffirm the relationship-building and the intentions — even if we’re not quite there in-practice yet. We reconnect to what matters most. And when we deliver that reflective moment, as facilitators, we often bring graphic recorders like Brave Space into the room to help crystallize the potential of the work.

That said, graphic recording isn’t really about furthering our understanding. It’s a high-level map that clarifies what we already know. What’s the point, then? What difference does it make to listen to one of us — Tuesday or Tim — and take stock of why the work matters?

Because sometimes, it’s energizing to watch something be created. It’s a microcosm of the work. Together, we fill a blank space. We experiment with seeing things in a new way. We draw connecting lines. We represent each other. We take note of our biggest shared lightbulbs — the useful insights that emerge from what feels like chaos. Together, we fill the space. We play.

Graphic recording reminds us to stay fluid. We watch our recorders thinking, Wow. How can they sketch so fast and so confidently as we speak? What if they mess up, or draw a connector where there shouldn’t be one? What if they mishear us, or what if we misspeak?

And that’s our lesson. Imperfect movement is better than perfect paralysis. What matters is that we try, and keep trying, to reach better understanding.

Graphic recording is an emergent piece of theatre. It’s not about comprehension. There will be no pop quiz. It softens our listening by signalling a different space. Just listen, keep your mind open. Together, we’re creating something. It may not be perfect, but isn’t it great?

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