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%...
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...
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 www.stattys.com 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...
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....
It seems to be a given that pictures have a better recognition rate than written words. With ~75% of our cognition system dedicated to vision, this is not hard to understand.
This phenomenon has a name – the “Picture Superior Effect.”
That’s important especially when we think about how we work and present our work to other people.
Even more interesting is the outcome of a scientific study from 2016, “The drawing effect: Evidence for reliable and robust memory benefits in free recall” by Jeffrey D. Wammes, Melissa E. Meade, and Myra A. Fernandes.
The drawing effect
They proved that if you draw something you remember it better – even under time pressure. The researchers call this the "Drawing Effect." They were able to prove, that drawing enhances the memory effect as well for people who consider themselves as not being able to draw.
Furthermore, they found, that even when it takes a bit longer to draw something and...
Recently Chuck Frey from the Mind Mapping Software Blog interviewed me on my thoughts around visual clarity. Head over to his blog to read the full interview.
And follow Chuck on Twitter!
I just wanted to add my favorite questions here for you to read directly. :)
Chuck: Why is clarity so rare in business today? What's changed?
Holger: As we progress into a more and more developed world – meaning technology, management theories, methodologies, and tools – live gets complex and so does business. The burden of knowing everything, seeing everything and being able to find every information that's available adds complexity to every company. Especially technologies, may they be for communications or production or whatever, are making it worse. Of course, they help us progress, but they make it more complicated to speak about things. Technology hinders us from understanding everything in detail. And that way clarity gets rare. A second argument could be, that things...
Some people call me crazy. Some think I have a magic pill for time traveling. Some friends say I'm super organized. My wife would agree with the first.
Besides running my own business with a team of 6 people now, giving lectures at two German universities, delivering strategy facilitation and coaching with my clients, developing Biz4Kids and sustaining Playing Lean and writing the book „Creating Innovation“ (German only) – I have created the WorkVisual App.
The WorkVisual App is a niche app for the iPad to perform live Visual Facilitation work connecting to a projector for large (or small) meetings, workshops, and conferences.
A lot of professional Visual Facilitators like me are using the WorkVisual App. But I will stop pursuing this venture this year…you can read why on my Facebook post here.
The WorkVisual App has been online for four years now. And I learned a few things along the way...
1. The right team is crucial
We can retain information way better if we can not only hear them but see them in a well-designed manner. Whenever you want to be sure people "get" what you say and are able to tell it to others later, make sure to communicate at least with decent visuals and words.
That's not just my personal biased fantasy. In 1969 Dale conducted an experiment with four study groups to find out if it is actually true that we can recall more of the content depending on the type of presentation in which we get to learn the material.
The four groups were presented to the content in
1. a spoken lecture
2. In a written form for them to read
3. With a visual and verbal presentation with illustrations and
4. By letting them participate with role-plays and such.
He assessed all 4 groups after 3 hours and as well 3 days after the presentation. The results are enlightening.
As the groups perform relatively equally ok in the test after 3 hours – despite the blah, blah, blah group of course – their...
Have you ever had the experience of thinking about a problem all the time, so that you can’t even sleep because it won’t let you go, even in the middle of the night?
The problem is too complicated. Each time one door to a solution starts to open, another two doors are closing.
The solution seems near, but every time you think it through it slips away…
You are starting to get a headache from thinking about it!
Sound familiar? I've been there often enough.
And yet, I would argue that you can overcome this hurdle with a time investment of only 5 minutes! Seriously - that should be plenty. As I'm working on the materials for my workshops, I wanted to share this concept with you.
The big hurdle is the way we typically approach the problem-solving process. I call this your design brief. The design brief is the way you help yourself understand your issue. Without understanding your problem clearly, the solution will be hard to find.
Very often we adopt a ...