Client Q&A with John Nackel, Ph. D. Founder, Chairman and CEO of Three-Sixty Advisory Group, LLC.

Christopher Fuller, John Nackel

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Client Interview

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January 16, 2020

[Introduction by Christopher Fuller, Founder of Griot's Eye]: John Nackel, Ph. D., is the Founder and General Partner of Wavemaker Three-Sixty Health and Founder, Chairman and CEO of Three-Sixty Advisory Group, LLC. Prior to that, Dr. Nackel was Global Managing Director of Healthcare with Ernst & Young, LLP and we first worked together almost 25 years ago when I was still a core staff member of MG Taylor and helping to introduce E&Y to graphic recording, after they licensed MG Taylor's DesignShop methodology and process (oh which I was a core member) in 1995. If you are a visual practitioner working today with big consulting firms such as E&Y, PwC, CapGemini, Accenture, Oliver Wyman, Deloitte, KPMG, or… XYZPDQ LLP, (I think that about covers it) then executives like Dr. Nackel, being an early champion of graphic recording is a good reason why. Believe me, graphic recording is not nearly as tough a sell to big firms now as it was in the mid-90s due to top leaders like him welcoming this uniquely creative listening plus drawing craft into their management practices.

First a little context – Dr. Nackel you and I have worked together for many years and on variety of projects going back to my time with MG Taylor Corporation and your days as Global Managing Director of Healthcare with Ernst & Young (now E&Y). E&Y licensed the MG Taylor DesignShop process in the mid-90s to help their clients accelerate their collaborative process.

Christopher, we have worked together for over 25 years, starting with the Accelerated Solution Centers (ASEs) that E&Y built across the United States and the world. Almost 30 in total. You were the very first “graphic reporter” that I worked with. Many of our health care clients loved the DesignShop approach to solving major business problems. Health care organizations tend to be very collaborative in working style, so the DesignShop approach was very useful. However, while healthcare organizations tend to be collaborative, they also tend to be slow in decision making, and that is why the DesignShop approach was so successful in healthcare.

"Christopher, we have worked together for over 25 years, starting with the Accelerated Solution Centers (ASEs) that E&Y built across the United States and the world. Almost 30 in total. You were the very first “graphic reporter” that I worked with."

I have been attracted to the collaborative style of decision-making because as an engineer I have been trained to develop and use pictorial representations for understanding and problem solving. Examples of these mechanisms are flow charts, blue prints, PERT charts, causal diagrams, simulations, etc. The whole graphic recording approach to collaborative decision-making assists in understanding of the problem being solved, managing the design process, finding solutions and representing them in a way most people can understand.

We recently worked together on a project for a major healthcare organization here in southern California. Can you tell us why you decided to bring Griot's Eye on to help prep for the meeting and design and illustrate the group's presentation boards rather than have them displayed in PowerPoint?

Yes, I was facilitating the senior leadership team at City of Hope in addressing a major strategic issue for the organization. My style of facilitation is to grab the audience early in the session and hold on to them through work groups, creative design, problem solving, group interaction and humor. I find that Power Point presentations do the opposite of that. In fact, I refer to this style of facilitation as “death by Power Point.”  Too many organizations use the PPT “decks” way too often and with marginal value added.

"My style of facilitation is to grab the audience early in the session and hold on to them through work groups, creative design, problem solving, group interaction and humor. I find that Power Point presentations do the opposite of that."

Griot’s Eye on the other hand works in a visually appealing manner that captures the imagination of the group and promotes a positive, creative and futuristic style. Reporting combined with artistic style is way more appealing than Power Point slides.

Can you share any information regarding the feedback from your client about the impact of the live graphic reporting we did during this recent session?

I have worked with this client for over 20 years. This is one of the leading cancer and diabetes organizations in the country. They value their time and respect outsiders who do as well. They were extremely complimentary of your work and results. By the way, that’s why I continue to bring you in to my biggest and most important clients when I was at E&Y, when I was CEO of a division of United Health Care, when I started my own firm Three-Sixty Advisory Group and when I added to that business a venture capital business called Wavemaker 360 Health.

Christopher, your ability to listen to a group or individual, capture the essence of a discussion, and graphically portray this is outstanding. In most of the ASEs, facilitation sessions, DesignShops, Discovery days, etc., we almost always get requests from the group to take your boards back to their office to share with others who are not able to attend. The reason is simple, your boards tell a story that even those not in attendance, people can understand the events taking place and visualize the session. In many clients, I even document the meeting in a booklet form, using your graphics as the major content of the book.

"Christopher, your ability to listen to a group or individual, capture the essence of a discussion, and graphically portray this is outstanding. In most of the ASEs, facilitation sessions, DesignShops, Discovery days, etc., we almost always get requests from the group to take your boards back to their office to share with others who are not able to attend. The reason is simple, your boards tell a story..."

Was there a specific moment that you remember where Griot's Eye's graphic reporting services really resonated with your client to help your facilitation be successful?

The Griot's Eye graphic reporting methodology starts always with listening

As I mentioned earlier, with high performing leaders you can’t waste their time. My approach is capture them early and hold on to them for the entire session. The best way to accomplish this is to be prepared ahead of time with your first boards of the day. That is why I always spend time personally designing those opening boards for a facilitation session. I know what I want to accomplish in those first 30 minutes of a session. If you fail there, you lose the group and the session will be mediocre. As you know this past weekend, we worked on foam boards, white boards, magnetic boards, etc. to get the opening of the session right. So my advice to any facilitator is to be prepared and ready for the opening show.

Finally, would you recommend others hire a graphic facilitator and graphic reporting services from Griot’s Eye for their next meeting and/or visioning and strategy session?

The easiest way to answer that question is:  That is why I have worked with Griot’s Eye for 25 years. I have worked with several very good graphic reporters, and I am a big fan of the “art and science of graphic reporting.”  

If you're a facilitator, event coordinator or work with an organization in the midst of a change management program that needs a way of visually communicating to your support team in a way that is visually memorable and helps tell the story of your transformation journey, then please contact us!

And if you are interested in learning the basic listening and graphic skills required for scribing — skills that do not require innate drawing talent (just an appreciation for rapid visualization), then please check out the next Learn2Scribe workshop taught by Christopher Fuller of Griot's Eye and his talented and longtime colleague, and friend, Peter Durand of AlphaChimp Studios. The date of the workshop is Feb 3-4, 2020 and it will be in Nashville, TN. If you are a visual learner or interested in discovering how you can communicate rapidly with the power of graphics you won't want to miss this unique opportunity! Drawing skills not required! Go here for registration and details!

Be sure to follow Griot's Eye on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube for more information, inspiration, and examples utilizing the power of graphic reporting, graphic facilitation, and visual storytelling techniques.

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