Every year, the IFVP (International Forum of Visual Practitioners) gathers their members (artists who do visual notetaking or Graphic Recording) to learn from each other, foster professional and personal relationships, and be inspired. On July 30 – August 2, 2016, I (along with Carrie, another one of our Graphic Recorders) attended the 21st annual IFVP Conference in Washington, D.C.
It was an eye-opening and inspiring experience. I was able to meet and interact with other artists – from those who are as new (or newer) to the field than I am to those who’ve been working in this industry for over 15 years. Carrie and I have decided to share our experience on the RIDG blog to hopefully inspire some of our readers (and fellow artists).
The first keynote I attended was “Designing Moments of Impact,” by Lisa Kay Solomon (author of the best-selling book Moments of Impact). In her keynote, she described how we live in a “VUCA” world. VUCA is a military term that describes a world shaped by Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguousness. In a VUCA world we have to be more adaptable, ready to solve the more complex problems through innovative thinking.
Solomon also talked about a phrase that we see constantly in today’s world, “Yeah, but …”
This phrase is the killer of innovation. Instead of focusing on what will hinder us, we should focus on thinking of and being leaders as designers.
There are three steps to doing this:
- Fostering Discovery – Be like Nancy Drew. Ask questions, observe and listen to solve mysteries.
- Modeling Generative Collaboration – Move away from politics, think “yes, and…”
- Scaling Our Discipline – We need more designers of better futures.
When we follow these steps, we are empowering one another and creating a world full of designers working towards a better future.
Solomon’s talk was not only inspiring, it reaffirmed for me how we approach work at RIDG.
When we enter client meetings we always set our ground rules, and one of those is always committing to saying “yes, and…” to one another – building on what has already been said, instead of negating it. We’re also big believers in the idea that everyone can be an innovator, they just need the right tools and leaders to help them unleash that creative potential.