My Three Key Learnings from VizThink Nord Meetup

Meeting fellow Visual Practitioners is always a highlight in my calendar. I love to be 100% the nerd I am and share and chat about all things “Visual Thinking” with peers who are fully in it as well. I guess you know that feeling, even if it’s not related to Visual Thinking, but the topic you are burning for!?

I had the pleasure to speak at the latest VizThink Nord Meetup - all virtual of course, but enjoyable. We expended the planned 60 minutes into 180 minutes. And at least for me, time flew by like nothing.

My personal key learnings from the session, which might apply to your next interaction with someone else too:

  1. There is always someone who’s journey has just begun.
  2. Being open and truly transparent will cause wonderful conversations.
  3. A smile goes a long way.


  1. There is always someone who’s journey has just begun
    Even though we might have years of experience in our field and work for even longer, there is always someone who started just...
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How a Daily Practice Can Change Your Behaviours

Uncategorized May 18, 2021

I’m not a professional in habits and routines. There are better people on this topic out there like James Clear

But I am a professional in Visual Thinking and using Visual Tools! And one of the crucial Visual Techniques in your Toolbox is... Drawing.

There’s no way around it. If you use a pen on paper (or a digital surface) you’ll improve the outcome of your work at least over the long term if not directly too.

Visual Thinkers like Zaha Hadid and Charles Darwin are testimonies for that.

The problem often is “How to start?” And “How to keep going?”

That’s why I created a series of books, designers to help you built the habit of drawing and increasing your drawings skill AND populating your visual library in your head.

The first book in this series is “100 Daily Drawings” Volume 1 and you can get it as PDF, ePub and even as a print book.

It’s easy. Keep it on your desk and get one drawing done each day....

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Holgers Book Recommendations

Yes, a book list!

As people coming back to me asking for reading recommendations, I thought it's time to create a book list here. I will update this list time by time as we go along. This list is just the start. More to come!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.





Business Model Generation, Value Proposition Design and The Invincible Company by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur

These books are a mandatory series of books for everybody who wants to innovate, create value for their company and their customers, and to see magnificent conceptual thinking in practice. If you only buy three books, then I’d recommend these.

My big Aha-Moment: Companies need to be able to manage both - their exploit and explore portfolio at the same time! Become great at this, and you will become invincible.



Pirates in the Navi by Tendayi Viki and Holger Nils Pohl

How to transform your organization into an innovation machine by being an authentic...

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How to keep your Virtual (Zoom) Meetings safe

clarity virtual meetings Apr 04, 2020

Just recently, during one of my Daily Clarity Sessions”, 32 participants and I were the victims of a so-called Zoombomb. Some random guy joined the meeting and spammed porn videos via screen sharing to all of us until I was able to shut down the meeting. I wasn't even aware of this phenomenon before. It was disgusting, scary, and confusing for me to witness this event in my virtual meeting.

Of course, I tried to find out what happened, and I learned that this is a real thing. It is not only a problem for Zoom, which is my (still) my trusted virtual meeting provider, but as well for all other partly open providers like, for example, Google Hangout.


I wanted to turn what I learned about how I can keep my virtual sessions safe into this blog post to share it with you. Please share this one with people you know or write it in your own words or copy and paste it...but we need to educate as many people as possible about this topic. I can't imagine how it would have been being...

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What Business People Can Learn From Comic Book Creation - Part 3/3

clarity visualthinking Aug 07, 2019

In this last part of the series about “What business can learn from comic book creation,” I will write about going for the long run with a focus on how you manage your team.

In the first two parts, I started writing about my experiences while working on the comic book Biz4Kids with my team and Alex Osterwalder. Mastering your craft and knowing your customers are two game-changing elements you want to consider in everything you do. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them. They are not mandatory to read this article, though.


If I learned one crucial thing throughout the Biz4Kids first comic book project, it is this: “Value your team. Take care of your peers, and go for the long run.”

A project with many stakeholders and decent team size is comparable to a season in any sports. It doesn’t help you win the championship if you have a great start but fail to keep the energy up until the very end.



I encountered multiple situations...

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How to improve your next Design Sprint

This article is especially for you if you facilitate Design Sprints. But hopefully the tools I will share with you here will help you if you are a moderator or facilitator of more or less complicated workshops.

When it comes to Design Sprints, we often face workshops with multiple days of ongoing creative work for the participants. If you follow the method of Google’s Jake Knapp, you would have five days in a row for a sprint! That's a heck lot of time for participants experiencing the whole world of creativity and innovation with its ups and downs. They will jump in the air with pure joy in one moment and suffer from self-doubt in the very next second. This constant up and down can make it hard for people to see “the big picture” and remember where they are in the process and what they are trying to achieve.

As a facilitator, it's your job to help participants overcome these hurdles. And one way that I found very helpful in the past is producing a clear roadmap for...
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What Business People Can Learn From Comic Book Creation - Part 2/3

clarity visualthinking Jun 27, 2019

This series is about my insights from our comic book project “Biz4Kids” and what we can learn from this for our business career.

In the first part of the series, I wrote about why you need to master your craft to succeed. Now I’m trying to enlighten the idea of really knowing your customer.


A customer is not always someone who buys from us. A customer might be someone who just uses what we do, and somebody else bought it for him. A customer might be someone who is an influencer for us and therefore, could spread our word. And a customer is, of course, the one who buys our products.
In the case of our comic book project, we have customers who buy the comic book – most likely parents or teachers. And we have customers who will be users – the kids who will read and enjoy the comic.




The unique thing about our paying customers is that to this point, they are all from Kickstarter. After running a very successful campaign with 131%...

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What Business People Can Learn From Comic Book Creation - Part 1/3

Creating a new, innovative business model or even a new service or a better product or a more efficient business process can be very challenging. We can lose ourselves in the treadmill of the corporate world or the distractions of the entrepreneurial world. This is due to existing working cultures as well as to the nature of these projects. And this nature is best described with “complex and long-running”.

Since November 2017 – that’s a whopping 19 months now – we’re working on a business comic for kids called “Biz4Kids” to change the way we teach our kids entrepreneurial and creative thinking on a global scale. And even as we’re not finished yet, we are very close to the finishing line now. I thought this might be an excellent time to see how you can benefit from what we learned over the 19 months.

In this first part of the series, I will write about “Mastering your craft.” Why is it so important to learn on the job...

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How to tell a better story on paper

clarity share workvisual Apr 05, 2019

When it comes to workshops and meetings as such, I prefer to use as many interactive media as possible - especially when I want to share something with the other participants. There is nothing more boring than the same style of presentation all day long.

For flexibility and interactivity, I’ve found the transparent stattys from my magic weapon. They stick to any surface without glue and are therefore super cool for moving them around without lifting them from the ground.

(Disclaimer: I helped Mikko, the founder of stattys ages ago to get market ready with his products, understand the value proposition of stattys and build his entire brand. I have no stake in the company beyond good friendship and soon some of my products in his store)


I’ve captured a video of me making a case for how to use the transparent stattys on a flipchart in one of my training. Go check it out here. Be aware it’s in German with English subtitles. Make sure to activate...

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Learnings from creating a Visual Library




Everybody is making a buzz around habits, consistency and creative production, it seems. The secret source is yet hidden in the dust and still waits for its discovery.

After creating a new Visual Library throughout the last two months, I figured, that I learned some things about ingredients of the magic source that are worthwhile sharing with you.
I learned that it needs more than just drawing and that technology can be a real enabler. Preparation seemed to be a key ingredient, but there seems to be no recipe nor good rules.


More than drawing 

You might think that creating a Visual Library that contains drawings needs to be drawn. That‘s it. And that‘s true. And it‘s wrong.
The creative process needed more from me than just my drawing skills. 
After finishing the drawings, I needed my team to complete the drawings for delivery. They added white fillings to recent transparent pieces to make the PNGs work better in presentations....

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