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Visual Teams: Graphic Tools for Commitment, Innovation, and High Performance Paperback – October 11, 2011

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  • Visual Teams: Graphic Tools for Commitment, Innovation, and High Performance
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Editorial Reviews

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From the Book: Visual Teams in Meeting Settings

Same Time/Same Place—Face-to-Face Meetings
The traditional, and historically most familiar way to work as a team, is face-to-face at the same time and in the same place. Many kinds of work groups are still located in the same geographic area or building and can meet together this way. The tools explored in Visual Teams for this team mode are:

• Graphic recording on large paper
• Static and interactive whiteboards and multi-touch screens (and walls)
• Computer projection of idea mapping, flow charting, and other software
• Predesigned presentation murals and charts
• Wall and tabletop graphic templates
• Workbooks, worksheets, and handouts
• Sticky-note displays
• Decision-support software for electronic brainstorming, voting, and ranking
• Tablet computers for active graphic recording that is projected

Same Time/Different Place —Virtual Meetings
Increasingly, teams are distributed in different locations, many times all over the world. But they still want to meet at the same time, hearing each other’s voices and perhaps seeing themselves on video and looking at shared drawings. Many face-to-face meeting involve a virtual component with several people calling in. Its tools are:

• Teleconferences with target documents
• Web conferences with shared whiteboards and interactive presentations
• Web conferences with active recording on tablets
• Video conferences with telepresence and interactive whiteboards integrated
• Interactive whiteboards and telephones
• Live chat with or without video
• Browser-based decision-support software

Different Time—Same Place Meetings
This brings us back to a physical office or workspace. When teams are collocated they can communicate visually through the physical environment in ways that allow coworkers to see what is going on at different times. These tools include:

• Physical bulletin boards and project-management walls
• Posters
• Posted action plans and road maps
• Team rooms with displays
• Kiosks—physical and electronic

Anytime/Anyplace—Social Media and Cloud Computing
With cameras on smart phones and tablets, wifi and other Internet connects becoming universal, and data access from the cloud expanding exponentially, the “anytime/anyplace” possibility is becoming reality. Some of the tools that specifically make this possible are:

• Texting
• Video and photo sharing
• Teleconferencing on smart phones
• All the above plus drawings on smart tablets
• Coordinating through cloud computing services
• Mobile appliances of increasing variety

From the Back Cover

Visualize team plans, processes, and results!

Visualization provides teams with a common language and serves as a powerful tool for improving processes and communicating big picture contexts. Building on the bestseller Visual Meetings, Visual Teams offers graphic tools and strategies for creating teams and sustaining results, whether you are co-located or spread around the world. This book highlights the Drexler/Sibbet Team Performance Model, a tool used throughout such companies as Nike, Genentech, and Becton, Dickinson and Company. The model is a "map" to creating and sustaining high performance in all kinds of teams.

Some of the most creative teams in business are found in the software, architecture, and information-design professions—and the "design approach" of these teams is the key to their creativity and productivity. Visual Teams presents a "design approach" for building and leading an innovative, high-performance team.

"All of us who help teams do systemic, creative work on complex challenges know that it is essential for these teams to make their thinking visible. In this excellent book, visual-thinking pioneer David Sibbet shows us how."
Adam Kahane, Reos Partners author of Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change

"Like David's own graphics, this book layersconcrete practices and abstract theories, historical insights, and visions of future possibilities. The book is a master's course in a kind of teamwork that's uniquely suited to our times."
Kathi Vian The Institute for the Future

"David Sibbet is the world's master teacher in graphic facilitation. In this landmark work he is insightful, entertaining and practical as he helps teams, team leaders, and consultants improve team performance by making it visual."
Allan Drexler Quality Team Performance

"David is a pioneer in the field of visual thinking and team effectiveness. In Visual Teams, he shares both a hard-won wisdom and the nitty-gritty about what it really takes to ensure that your great ideas prevail."
Hilary Austen professor, consultant, and author of Artistry Unleashed: A Guide to Pursuing Great Performance in Work and Life

"Visuals nurture the heart as well as the mind. In Visual Teams David brilliantly demonstrates the power of graphics to foster inspiration, alignment, and results—a unique and exciting journey into the joys and challenges of teamwork."
Meryem Le Saget Meryem Le Saget Consulting, Paris


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118077431
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118077436
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

DAVID SIBBET is President and founder of The Grove Consultants International, a firm that supports organizations, teams and individuals to envision their futures and deal with change. David and his Grove team regularly design and lead strategy, visioning, creativity, future-forces, leadership development, and large-scale system change processes for clients throughout the world.

He was involved with the growth of Apple Computer in the 1980's as a key consultant on their Leadership Expeditions and Apple University. He facilitated the change management team at National Semiconductor during its turnaround in 1990. He has worked at HP and then Agilent for many years, leading strategic visioning sessions for groups and divisions, helping develop leadership programs, and designing Storymaps for special kickoffs and change projects. He and the Grove facilitated the community visioning processes and planning fairs connected with the conversion of the Presidio to the National Park. As a founding director of Headlands Center for the Arts he has long experience as a park partner with GGRNA.

In addition to corporate and government work David has sustained a diverse involvement with foundations, non-profits, schools and professional associations. Clients include the American Institute of Architects, the New Media Consortium, the Greater Baltimore Committee's Leadership program, and more recently a consortium of 90 NGO's and 15 foundations in the upper Midwest helping that region become a leader in 21st Century clean energy. Over the years David has helped design and lead many board/staff retreats, strategy sessions, and cross-organizational projects working on social change.

David is the author and designer of many of The Grove's extensive line of process consulting tools and guides, including the Grove's Visual Planning Systems™, the Drexler/Sibbet Team Performance™ system, the Sibbet/LeSaget Sustainable Organization Model, the Grove's Strategic Visioning™ process and related graphic templates, and the Grove's Facilitation Series. In 2007 the Organizational Development Network awarded David and the Grove their Membership Award for creative contributions to the field of organization development.

David holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and a BA in English from Occidental College. He was awarded a Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs in 1965 to study metropolitan public affairs in Los Angeles. For eight years in the 1970's he was Executive Director and Director of Training for the Coro Foundation, designing experience-based education experiences for young leaders. He began his own organizational consulting firm in 1977. David is a long-time affiliate with the Institute for the Future in Menlo Park, a member of the Global Business Network in Emeryville, a long-time member for both the Organizational Development Network and the International Association of Facilitators, and a member of Heartland Circle's Thought Leader Network. He is President of the Argonne Community Garden and currently on the Board of Coro. David lives in San Francisco with his poet/teacher spouse, Susan.

For further information, explore www.grove.com and www.davidsibbet.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've spent more than 30 years working with teams and facilitating meetings. Graphic tools from David Sibbet and his colleagues are my GO TO resources and I'm thrilled to have so many available between two covers in this book. Using these strategies helps you get teams on the same page - literally - by making critical processes explicit and visible to the members. These days everyone is talking about engagement. VISUAL TEAMS is packed with frameworks, illustrations and HOW TOs that you can use to take engagement out of the conceptual realm and into action. Better yet, it's accessible so that people at all levels of organizations can pick it up and use it to make a difference in their team's performance. Lisa Kimball, President, Plexus Institute [...]
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The Drexler/Sibbet Team Performance approach has been around for a couple of decades as a tool kit. It is been used by many corporations to train and build teams with enormous success. Now, David Sibbet, the gifted originator of graphic facilitation and organizational development guru, has written a marvelous book called Visual Teams: Graphic Tools for Commitment, Innovation, and High Performance. It not only summarizes the theory behind the team performance practice but gives detailed explanations and procedures for using the method. The book is the second volume in what appears to be a series on the use of the 21st-century tools of visual language to help groups and task forces work better together. The first book in the series, Visual Meetings, is already a runaway success in its field. What makes the book exceptional, is the proliferation of examples of actual business, government, and NGO cases in which the method has been used. Sibbet has created a dialect of visual language specially designed to move meetings along to successful conclusions. And it is not a shallow method either. It is based on a deep philosophical approach pioneered by Arthur Young, one of the inventors of the helicopter as well is a important perceiver and formulator of the philosophy of process and, human, biological, and physical. If this weren't enough, chapters 18 - 20 are worth the price of the book for their summarizing of how to hold virtual and multimedia conferences that are based around visualization.

Bob Horn
Entrepreneur, Author, Visual Language: Global Communication for the 21st Century
Visual Language: Global Communication for the 21st Century
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This book is a powerful guide for any team leader trying to imagine AND implement new futures for your enterprise. I first experienced David Sibbet's work during a project for the Grocery Manufacturers Association in 1997. A remarkable project it identified a role for increasingly sophisticated search tools AND networked communities (e.g., Twitter, Facebook) in the future of consumer products. I still have a mural from this project hanging in my office. The real power of this technique as David Sibbet vividly outlines in the book is not the "end product visual" but the "process" of working as a group to imagine and create a shared story that describes both "where we came from" and "where we want to go." The book uses stories and examples to walk through how anyone (no drawing skills required) can employ these techniques whether using face-to-face or web-conferencing meetings.
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David Sibbet has done the lead facilitation of my annual retreat for a Community Leadership Program for over 20 years now. In addition I have taken a practicum workshop with him. What makes this book amazing is somehow he has captured in a book the totality of his theoretical underpinnings from the thought of Arthur Young and Allan Drexeler, integrated it with Daniel Pink's understanding of Right brain thinking and then given us a practical road map on how to DO IT! This book is chock full of drawings, charts and such that embody the very nature of his facilitation skills.

It is a rare accomplishment to take the nuanced art of team building, graphic facilitation and make it accessible in a manner that can be put into real time use. Sibbet's book has pulled it off.

If you are in the position of team building and meeting facilitation this book should go right to the top of your list.
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There is good content in here but it reads more like an autobiography than a set of skills to be learned, so its like i have to break the stories down into steps and reengineer them into abstract theories and techniques that can be applied generally. if that makes sense.

Many technical manuals follow a basic format Theory>Structure>techniques>Example: (story).
but for this book I have to do some mental leaps in reverse, I guess im conditioned. Luckily im very motivated and patient. the labeling of the sections are a bit odd, because it reads more like a story section than an aspect of Visual Teamwork so jumping around sections is a bit confusing.
some of the diagrams aren't so great but he does give you references to templates online.
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This book is incredibly useful and delightful to dive in to!

It is filled with a tremendous knowledge of how to engage teams of people to visualize goals in a way that accelerates the ability to achieve them.

It offers numerous step by step tools and frameworks on vital topics of leadership including: purpose, commitment, decision making, role clarity, implementation, evaluation and improvement. It does so in a dynamic way that shows the reader how to generate clarity and energy around issues that teams face. Truly, since some team performance issues can often be tedious, the tools in the book are particularly powerful.

The team tools have an innovative approach at their core. The book offers an elegant visual design that facilitates understanding the information and finding just what will serve you best for your immediate need. There are so many opportunities where teams can benefit from this approach, one of my favorites being: "Getting everyone's commitments to action on one sheet of paper!"

In the last ten years of coaching and training leaders, I have often used tools that David Sibbet and his colleagues designed. It is wonderful to have this collection of their wisdom and both a broader and deeper way to engage in the visual tools of commitment, innovation & performance.

Nan Crawford
Coaching Bold Women Leaders to Step Onto Bigger Stage
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