Tom Wujec gave a short TED talk: 3 Ways the Brain Creates Meaning. His point is, “We make meaning by seeing.” Here is a summary of how the brain makes meaning with the brain subsystem activated in parentheses:
- Use images to clarify ideas. (ventral)
- Interact with images to create engagement. (dorsal)
- Augment memory with persistent and evolving views. (limbic)
Using images to create shared mental models leads to better communication, learning, thinking, problem solving, and collaboration. He uses Visual Strategic Planning as an organizational example of the idea that we are all visual developers and learners.
As I consider what this information means for organization development, I go beyond his example to considering how we run meetings, communicate information, and deliver training. How can we increase the visual component of what we do in order to increase the building of shared mental models and shared meaning?