Visualisation Transformation with Christiane Anderson

Christiane Anderson

“Visualisation helps break down communication barriers, removes ego and takes away a lot of tension and bias. It makes people really happy. Drawing and playing with colour reminds us how to be free, creative and unburdened, it helps us reconnect to ourselves and be present in the moment.”

Agile Coach and Trainer/Visual Facilitator/Extended DISC Consultant
AGL Energy
Visual Friends two-day course, October 2014

Learn

Christiane first saw Bikablo® when meeting Marcel through her daughter’s school. She was intrigued. At the time she was looking to add something else to her toolkit and Bikablo® seemed like a perfect fit.  “I felt limited in my ability to communicate complex concepts, and I also didn’t feel like I was having a lot of fun in my role.” Christiane attended one of the first Bikablo® courses offered in Melbourne, back in 2014.

Not only did Christiane learn a new skill that allowed her to inject some fun into her every day work, the course changed the trajectory of her career, allowed her to meet some amazing people, be part of unique events and play a role in changing the company culture at her workplace.

Christiane’s biggest insight from the Visual Friends course was how easy it was to learn. “It’s a technique that anyone can pick up. If you can draw a stick, you can draw Bikablo®.”  

Christiane’s Visual Friends training final poster
Christiane’s Visual Friends training final poster

Practice

She began to put her new skill to use immediately. Christiane would ask teams to allow her to visually record their meetings or capture retrospectives. Her hand drawn posters began to appear all over the office.  “I got a lot of really positive feedback. People felt the drawings added a different dimension to what was being said and helped them remember the key messages. At first the leaders were concerned scribing would be distracting, but instead it helped people focus on what was communicated.

For the next four years, Christiane worked with Marcel van Hove, Visual Friends Co-founder, scribing for various conferences, breakfast events and even international speakers.”It gave me an opportunity to meet some amazing people and have access to events I would not have otherwise had access to.” A particular highlight was scribing for Barry O’Reilly, the author of Unlearn and Lean Enterprise. He used her drawings in his marketing and training materials.  

Christiane also did lots of drawing at work and began to play a role of a visual coach helping teams with visual templates, metaphors and concepts.

WIth Barry O’Reilly in front of Christiane’s work
WIth Barry O’Reilly in front of Christiane’s work

Why visualisation

Christiane considers visualisation a valuable tool for any area where teams work together to create a solution for their customers or company. “Bikablo® technique brings people together in a collaborative, creative way and helps them conceptualise and then deliver a solution. It removes a lot of assumptions and helps you understand what you are trying to achieve. It’s got a really strong relevance in the product creation space whether you are designer, a product lead or in human-centred design. As for collaboration and facilitation, it’s probably “if you don’t have it, what are you doing?”

Christiane is quite passionate about visualisation as it ties in with her personal mission: to make work a place that people want to come to and bring their authentic selves by building a culture of inclusion, openness and fun.

“It helps break down communication barriers, removes ego and takes away a lot of tension and bias. It makes people really happy. Drawing and playing with colour reminds us how to be free, creative and unburdened, it helps us reconnect to ourselves and be present in the moment.”

What gives Christiane most joy in using visualisation is to be able to help someone understand their narrative. “Being able to bring clarity and meaning to the situation is what I think is important. Work should be meaningful and if I contribute to this in some way, I think that’s a pretty good thing to be happy about.”

Christiane believes attending Visual Friends course changed the trajectory of her career. “Visualisation helped my career immensely. It was definitely one of the big steps towards where I’m now, 100%.”

As an Agile coach, Christiane uses Bikablo® on a daily basis. “It’s a power Agile and Human Centred Design tool when it comes to team collaboration. And it’s adding value throughout the entire product design lifecycle”.

Visualisation at AGL

Christiane’s visualisation journey has not only transformed her career but has played a role in changing the company culture at her workplace.

When Christiane first started using visualisation after attending the course, she inspired two other colleagues to follow suit. The three of them did a lot of graphic recording at AGL and using visualisation was no longer a novelty.  Over the years people began to expect, prefer and even demand a visual way of working. “Now I get a lot of people asking me when the next course is, ask me to record for their events or develop a poster to communicate their message. There’s a real hunger for it.  It’s changed from “come and help me” and “I really want to learn this.”

She hopes this change continues and with formal training, visualisation becomes the preferred way of working. “My wish, my hope and my desire is that it’s no longer a special skill, but part of the organisation’s DNA, simply the way we do things.”

Visual Storytelling
Visual Storytelling

Christiane is a coach and facilitator with expertise in people and organisational change. She facilitates individuals building skills such as resilience, learning, experimenting and experiencing success by reaching their goals. Christiane mentors, coaches, trains and facilitates lean-agile methods from the team to the senior leadership level using Scrum, Kanban, Lean Enterprise, HCD and SAFe approaches. Where appropriate Christiane uses visual facilitation as a platform for collaborative communication and problem-solving. She believes that everyone with a pen has a voice.  

Natalia Tsygankova
Natalia Tsygankova

The article was written by Natalia Tsygankova. Natalia has always loved words and talking to people. She has put that passion to good use and has been sharing people’s stories in the community radio, TV and print media for the last 10 years. Natalia is also a big fan of true storytelling events and regularly volunteers at the most famous one – The Moth, interviewing the winner. You can hear her own story of moving to Australia from Russia in 1999 here. Natalia believes that everyone has a story – So what’s yours? Contact her today to share your story.

Case Studies & Personal Stories

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What our clients say

Julie Whitlock Pic 2

Julie Whitlock

Associate Director, Digital Innovations, Murdoch University

Do this Course if you want a permanent smile on your face and a feeling of success and achievement at learning something new.

Alan Kurrle

Alan Kurrle

Project Manager, Information Systems, Epworth

The benefits of the 60-day program were fantastic, it gave me a lot of confidence, taught me to be more spontaneous and trust myself. I’m not making a Mona Lisa here. It’s about capturing key messages, not creating a work of art.

Bornwyn Short Photo_2019

Bronwyn Short

Portfolio Manager, BHP

This type of Training is just so valuable for anyone.  It gives you practical skills for immediate use!

Epworth

Fiona McUtchen

Group Manager Organisational Development, Epworth Healthcare

I sent one of my team Alan Kurrle on a Bikablo course recently – I hadn’t heard of it before (thanks Naked Ambition for the recommendation) but it’s a German group teaching everyday people to be gun facilitators by harnessing visualisation and collaboration techniques. To say I was pleased with his learning would be the understatement of 2018. Would strongly recommend to those in your team that love facilitation – it’s already brought so much more life and animation to our team and beyond Epworth.

Olympia

Olympia McEnhill

Delivery Manager at Gallagher Bassett

In doing the Bikablo course I discovered a very powerful way to super charge my creative brainstorming skills! If you are an extrovert like me and find talking about stuff really helps to get into your own head; you should try drawing! It’s been truly liberating! Thanks for your amazing patience John

Jon Coleman

Jonathon Coleman

Iteration Manager at Suncorp

I was impressed how quickly I learned.  Zero to ‘pretty awesome in 2 days?  Money well spent!

Nathalie-Heynderickx1

Nathalie Heynderickx

Corporate Domain Specialist at AGL

I’ve attended a one day workshop with Marcel a couple of months ago and I’m glad I did. In one single day I’ve learnt the basic techniques of visual facilitation in a clever, relaxed and fun manner thanks to Marcel great people and technical skills. Since then I had to pleasure to apply the knowledge acquired at my role at AGL and make my role more fun, creativity and engaging to myself and my stakeholders. Such a good investment of my time, energy and money! Thanks Marcel. Please keep up sharing this amazing tool for a better corporate world.

author avatar
Marcel combines agile team coaching with visual thinking. Marcel believes that a group of people drawing together on a whiteboard can change the world. He loves high-performing teams and therefore coaches teams everyday. He likes to share his experience in his trainings, as a speaker at conferences and as the host of a user group. He produced serveral videos explaining agile practices, principles and lean thinking using visual facilitation technics. When he is not drawing he loves to meditate and travels around the world.

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