A 16 person team in the pediatric division of a leading university in medical research and care
Used graphic facilitation and recording to create clarity and alignment around a vision and mission for the team that would reflect their diverse perspectives and drive success
Increased leadership and team effectiveness — and led to the creation of a three-year strategic plan for the team’s big-picture goals
A team of emergency pediatric doctors at a leading university in medical research and care was facing rapid growth and a recent transition in leadership. The new director felt it imperative to align the team around a vision they could all get excited about and develop a strategic roadmap that would allow the team to focus and prioritize their efforts in order to enable the group’s long-term success. In addition, the group wanted to identify ways to meaningfully support the team’s effectiveness, since the asynchronous, 24/7 nature of their work doesn’t allow for regular collaboration as a whole team. Blue Beyond partnered with the new director and the team to unite them around a shared vision and a strategic roadmap and plan to ready them for their next phase of growth.
We started with deep listening around the vision of the team’s new director. Our team of graphic facilitators and consultants met with the director to create in-the-moment, visual notes as she talked about her perspective on the vision for the team’s future informed by her prior conversations with the team.
From this, our graphic facilitators created a draft vision chart to guide the next phase of conversations with the full team. During a team retreat, our consultants facilitated a dynamic conversation with the team about their vision, using the draft vision chart from the pre-session with the director as a visual tool to encourage open dialogue and capture additional ideas. Our graphic facilitation team created new iterations of the vision image live during the meeting — adding in the feedback of those in the room. The co-creation that the graphic facilitation and recording fostered helped mirror back to the team what they were thinking, and allowed them to actively shape and evolve their vision by seeing real-time what they were coming up with.
After the first round of full-group conversation, we broke the team of doctors into sub-groups to facilitate deeper exploration of ideas around each of the priority areas they had identified in their vision. Utilizing magazine-style visual templates that Blue Beyond’s graphic facilitation team had developed in advance — the doctors were given a creative way to envision the future from different perspectives, helping them to generate new ideas and creating a sense of shared ownership around the final vision.
The use of graphic facilitation and recording ensured everyone’s voice was heard, reflected the diverse and unique viewpoints of the team, and captured the team’s shared vision in a compelling, memorable visual. Following the team retreat, our consultants partnered with a few members of the group to build out the visual in greater detail – for example, adding additional details to reflect specific aspects of the team’s work as well as the diversity of the group and the community of patients and families that they serve. The visual was then translated into a digital image to allow flexibility in how they could utilize it going forward.
“The use of graphic recording and facilitation allowed for our group of innovative thinkers to share their unique perspectives and helped us to truly collaborate on a shared vision. The output was a dynamic representation of our people and our work — and the team enjoyed watching, and being part of, the process.” — Chief of Division of Pediatric Medicine
The creation of the team’s vision visual through the use of graphic facilitation and recording helped the team clearly articulate their unique role and vision in the field of pediatric emergency medicine. It has become a lasting touchstone for the team to refer back to as they progress on their journey and a tangible asset they can use to support their work – e.g., incorporating in fundraising efforts, helping onboard new team members, sharing with internal and external stakeholders. The co-creative process to develop the vision also helped boost team effectiveness — supporting the team to build alignment, identify areas of opportunity and priority, facilitate productive and open conversation, and flex their overall muscle of deep collaboration as they move into their next phase of growth together.