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Visual Teams: Graphic Tools for Commitment, Innovation, and High Performance

ISBN: 978-1-118-07743-6
312 pages
October 2011
Visual Teams: Graphic Tools for Commitment, Innovation, and High Performance (1118077431) cover image


Graphic tools and visual solutions for team building and development

Visual Teams uses visual tools and methods to help teams—both face-to-face and virtual—reach high performance in today's work environment. As teams become more and more global and distributed, visualization provides an important channel of communication—one that opens up the group's mind to improving work systems and processes by understanding relationships, interconnections, and big picture contexts.

Visual Teams shares best practices and uses visualization as a power tool for process improvement by providing teams with a common language for high performance. The book:

  • Explores how any kind of team can draw on the principles and practices of creative design teams in the software, architectural, engineering, and information design professions
  • Introduces the Drexler/Sibbet Team Performance™ Model and related tools—a system used throughout companies such as Nike, Genentech, Becton Dickinson, Chevron, and others

Visual Teams presents a comprehensive framework, best practices, and unique visual tools for becoming an innovative, high-performance team.

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Table of Contents

Imagining Better Results for Teams xi

I. What Is a Visual Team?
Using Graphics Across the Whole Workflow 1

1. Working Like Designers / Why Visual Teams Get Results 3

2. Why Be a Visual Team? / The Case for Collaboration 15

3. A Graphic User Interface for Teams / The Drexler/ Sibbet Team Performance Model 29

II. Leading Visual Teams
Seeing the BIG Picture 55

4. So You've Just Been Promoted / Understanding Team Leadership 57

5. Managing Four Flows of Activity / Attention, Energy, Information, & Operations 73

6. Supporting Innovation / Providing Visual Tools 83

III. Visual Team Startup
Creating Trust, Focus, & Commitment 93

7. Visualizing Purpose / Orienting to Your Mission 95

8. Seeing Yourself As a Team / Developing Trust 107

9. Clarifying Goals / Using the Graphic Gameplan 117

10. Consensus or Command? / Deciding Commitments 131

IV. Sustaining Results
Innovating for High Performance 149

11. Graphics & Project Management / Implementation You Can Literally See 151

12. Visualizing & Innovating / Understanding High Performance 159

13. Assessments, Dialogues, & Sharing Rallies / The Importance of Learning & Renewal 171

V. Growing a Visual Team Culture
Thinking BIG About Opportunities 183

14. Introducing Visual Teams / Communicating Benefits 185

15. Developing Visual Team Skills / Learning Tips & Tools 193

16. Shared Visual Language / Toward an Operating System for Visual Teams 201

VI. New Technology Tools
A Revolution in Visual Collaboration 219

17. Visual Tools Come of Age / Experiencing High Performance at the Institute for the Future 221

18. Graphics for Distributed Teams / Web & Teleconferences 231

19. Team Rooms & the Net / Physical Places or Virtual Spaces? 241

20. Mobile Technology / Reshaping Tomorrow's Teams 249

VII. Links, Tools, & Other Resources 263

21. Websites & Bibliography 265

Appendix 273

Jack R. Gibb's Original Research 273

Summary of Arthur M. Young's Theory of Process 274

Index 277

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Author Information

DAVID SIBBET is a world leader in the area of graphic facilitation and visual thinking for groups. He is the founder and president of The Grove Consultants International, a company whose leading-edge group-process tools and services for panoramic visualization, graphic facilitation, team leadership, and organizational transformation are used by consultants and organizations around the world. Sibbet has been the visual cartographer for the TED conference, and is the recipient of the OD Network Members Award for Creative Contribution to the field of organizational development.
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Press Release

October 11, 2011
Visual Teams: Graphic Tools for Commitment, Innovation, and High Performance


“…A visual team is a team that works like designers” – David Sibbet

In a follow-up to his first best-selling book - Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes & Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity, author David Sibbet now offers advice to teams in his latest book, Visual Teams: Graphic Tools for Commitment, Innovation, and High Performance (Wiley; ISBN: 978-1-1180-7743-6; Paperback & E-Book; October 2011; $29.95). Visual Teams explains how to use graphics and visuals to foster team creation, development, and results.

Same rules apply for Visual Teams as they did for Visual Meetingsdrawing expertise is not necessary!

Visual Teams is organized around the well-known Drexler/Sibbet Team Performance Model® and includes best practices, cases, and many visual examples of how to handle each stage of the Model, plus in-depth descriptions of how to use the full suite of Team Performance tools. He dips a bit into the underlying Theory of Process and explores the new technologies that allow teams to communicate in multimedia across time and space.

Visual Teams uses visual tools to explore how high performance teams work. The best teams work like creative designers--and a "design approach" is the key to innovation and productivity. Sibbet builds on Visual Teams by showing users how to knit together best practices described in the first book, and turn them into strategies that work across the whole arc of a team's work life.

It's what organizations need, what the planet needs, and anyone who wants to work both right and left parts of their brain and use their whole body to communicate. Sibbet points out three developments from the last 20 years that have significantly broadened the ways in which teams work together visually to achieve results -

                1. The evolution of traditional design tools such as white boards, markers, large paper, tape, cameras, sticky notes,   and other tools. They are both higher quality and increasingly interactive digitally.

                2. The explosion of groupware and social media since the early 1990s. Groupware includes all of the software tools esigned for group collaboration, including social networking tools. Most of these integrate text, graphics, and video, making it possible to work visually across a wide range of media.

                3. An accelerating interest in “design thinking” and innovation. Competition from emerging economies increases every day and puts a premium on creativity.

We live in a time where graphics and text dance together continuously on our websites, smart phones, magazines, ads, and television. Was there ever a culture more visually stimulated and literate? There is no reason why teams cannot take advantage of all of this. Perhaps no one realizes how easy it is. Visual Teams makes it easier for all teams to understand.

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