Wednesday, May 15, 2019

On the back of a napkin

As I’ve written, I love to doodle.  So, I was especially curious when I ran across a book at the library titled The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures by Dan Roam (2008).
What can be solved on the back of a napkin?  Well, when Herb Kelleher was brainstorming about how to beat the traditional hub-and-spoke airlines, he grabbed a bar napkin and a pen. Three dots to represent Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Three arrows to show direct flights. Problem solved, and the picture made it easy to sell Southwest Airlines to investors and customers.

Used properly, a simple drawing on a humble napkin is more powerful than Excel or PowerPoint-less.  Doodling can help crystallize ideas and communicate in a way that people simply “get”.  This book shows anyone how to clarify a problem or sell an idea by visually breaking it down using a simple set of visual thinking tools – tools that take advantage of everyone’s innate ability to look, see, imagine, and show.

THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN proves that thinking with pictures can help anyone discover and develop new ideas, solve problems in unexpected ways, and dramatically improve their ability to share their insights.

Got a problem?  Pull out a napkin (or other paper) and give it a try. You might just see your world in a new way.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

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