I asked ChatGPT to create a Monster List of how Visual Thinking can help in the workplace. It seriously overdelivered.

Matthew Magain Chief Doodler
Read Time: 6 mins

Like many people, I’ve been watching the landscape of fast-moving AI tools with equal parts excitement and horror. Will it put us all out of a job? Will it make us all better at our jobs? Who knows? I back my team and myself on our ability to bring a human touch to the work we deliver, but I guess time will tell.

What AI tools are good for, however, is generating ideas. For example, a list of ways that visual thinking can be useful in the workplace. I asked ChatGPT to give me a big list, and what it spat out was amazing. It reads like a bucket list for someone who visualises things professionally, like me.

Behold, the monster list:

  1. Problem-solving: Visual thinking can help in identifying and understanding complex problems by visualising them through diagrams, mind maps, or flowcharts.
  2. Brainstorming: Visual techniques such as concept mapping or visual boards can facilitate creative brainstorming sessions and stimulate idea generation.
  3. Planning and organising: Visual tools like Gantt charts or Kanban boards can aid in project planning, task allocation, and tracking progress.
  4. Process mapping: Visual diagrams, such as process flows or swim-lane diagrams, can be used to map out workflows, identify bottlenecks, and optimise processes.
  5. Data visualisation: Visual representations of data, such as charts, graphs, or infographics, can make complex information more accessible and facilitate data-driven decision-making.
  6. Communication: Visuals, including presentations, illustrations, or visual aids, can enhance communication by conveying information more effectively and engagingly.
  7. Storytelling: Visual narratives, such as storyboards or comics, can be used to communicate concepts, strategies, or project plans in a compelling and memorable way.
  8. User experience (UX) design: Visual thinking is crucial in designing user-friendly interfaces, wireframes, or prototypes to create intuitive and visually appealing user experiences.
  9. Customer journey mapping: Visualising the customer journey can help identify pain points, understand user behaviour, and enhance customer satisfaction.
  10. Training and onboarding: Visual materials like instructional videos, infographics, or visual guides can aid in training new employees and conveying complex concepts.
  11. Decision-making: Visual frameworks, such as decision trees or decision matrices, can assist in structuring decisions, evaluating options, and considering various factors.
  12. Strategic planning: Visual tools, like strategy canvases or SWOT analysis diagrams, can support strategic planning processes and facilitate alignment among team members.
  13. Knowledge sharing: Visual representations, such as mind maps or visual summaries, can simplify complex information and promote knowledge sharing within teams or across departments.
  14. Project management: Visual techniques like project timelines, milestone charts, or burn-down charts can help monitor project progress, track tasks, and manage resources.
  15. Problem analysis: Visual problem-solving methods, such as fishbone diagrams or mind maps, can aid in identifying root causes, exploring relationships, and developing solutions.
  16. Collaboration: Visual thinking encourages collaborative work by fostering shared understanding, promoting participation, and facilitating group decision-making.
  17. Strategy development: Visualising strategic objectives, action plans, or roadmaps can help align teams, track progress, and communicate the overall direction of the organisation.
  18. Mindfulness and reflection: Visual journaling or visual reflections can assist in introspection, self-awareness, and promoting a mindful work environment.
  19. Marketing and advertising: Visuals play a vital role in creating impactful marketing materials, designing advertisements, and conveying brand messages effectively.
  20. Change management: Visual techniques like change impact analysis or change readiness maps can assist in managing organisational change by visualising its effects and planning mitigation strategies.
  21. Risk management: Visualising risks through risk matrices, heat maps, or risk assessment diagrams can aid in identifying, prioritising, and managing risks within projects or processes.
  22. Innovation and ideation: Visual thinking can stimulate creativity and innovation by using techniques like mind mapping, sketching, or visual brainstorming sessions.
  23. Customer feedback analysis: Visual representations, such as sentiment analysis visualisations or customer journey maps, can help analyse and understand customer feedback more intuitively.
  24. Performance tracking: Visual dashboards, scorecards, or performance heat maps can provide a quick overview of key performance indicators (KPIs) and track progress towards goals.
  25. Presentation design: Visual thinking is essential in creating engaging and visually appealing presentations that effectively communicate key messages and captivate the audience.
  26. Prototyping: Visualising ideas through sketches, wireframes, or mockups helps in rapid prototyping and gathering feedback for iterative improvements.
  27. Sales and pitch presentations: Visuals are powerful tools in sales presentations, pitch decks, or product demos, helping to highlight key features, benefits, and value propositions.
  28. Training material design: Visual thinking can enhance the design of training materials by incorporating visual aids, diagrams, or interactive elements for better engagement and understanding.
  29. Process improvement: Visual representations, such as value stream maps or process flow diagrams, can aid in identifying inefficiencies, streamlining workflows, and driving continuous improvement.
  30. Knowledge management: Visual knowledge repositories, like visual libraries or visual databases, can facilitate easy access, retrieval, and sharing of information within an organisation.
  31. Root cause analysis: Visual techniques, such as fault tree analysis or causal loop diagrams, can assist in identifying and analysing the root causes of problems or incidents.
  32. Resource planning: Visualising resource allocation, workload distribution, or resource availability through visual tools like resource calendars or heat maps can aid in efficient resource planning.
  33. Quality control: Visual methods, such as control charts, Pareto diagrams, or scatter plots, can help monitor quality metrics, identify trends, and initiate corrective actions.
  34. Competitive analysis: Visualising competitive landscapes, SWOT analyses, or market positioning maps can provide insights into competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, and market opportunities.
  35. Human resources management: Visual tools, such as organisational charts or competency matrices, can support HR processes like talent management, succession planning, or skills assessment.
  36. Knowledge transfer: Visualising tacit knowledge through techniques like mind mapping, knowledge maps, or visual storytelling can facilitate knowledge transfer between employees.
  37. Stakeholder mapping: Visual representations, such as stakeholder influence grids or power-interest matrices, can aid in identifying key stakeholders, their relationships, and engagement strategies.
  38. Conflict resolution: Visual methods like conflict resolution diagrams or negotiation frameworks can assist in understanding conflicts, exploring resolutions, and promoting constructive dialogue.
  39. Recruitment and hiring: Visual materials, such as job advertisements, visual job descriptions, or employer branding visuals, can attract and engage potential candidates.
  40. Goal setting and tracking: Visualising goals and progress through goal boards, vision boards, or goal trackers can increase motivation, focus, and accountability.
  41. Project retrospectives: Visual techniques, such as timeline analysis, fishbone diagrams, or impact-effort matrices, can facilitate project retrospectives and lessons learned sessions.
  42. Workflow optimisation: Visual thinking can help identify redundancies, bottlenecks, or process gaps through techniques like value stream mapping, spaghetti diagrams, or process visualisation.
  43. Conflict resolution: Visual methods like conflict resolution diagrams or negotiation frameworks can assist in understanding conflicts, exploring resolutions, and promoting constructive dialogue.
  44. Workforce diversity and inclusion: Visuals can be used to promote diversity and inclusion initiatives through visual campaigns, awareness materials, or inclusive design approaches.
  45. Social media and content marketing: Visual content, such as infographics, videos, or visual quotes, can enhance engagement, reach, and virality of social media and content marketing efforts.

I view this is a checklist of opportunity—a comprehensive collection of the ways that thinking, communicating, and collaborating in the workplace can be improved by picking up a pen. I’ve been through and checked off a bunch, but there are plenty of others that offer food for thought.

Thanks ChatGPT for reminding me of the ways that my team and I can help people thrive—in ways that a computer cannot.

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