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

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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  • Visual Teams: Graphic Tools for Commitment, Innovation, and High Performance
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  • Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity
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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 (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Format: Paperback
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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Incredible book. Full of practical tools and guides. Initially I was taken back by so much emphasis on visual facilitation, but the further back you read the most sophisticated the concepts.

Must have for a facilitator or team leader!
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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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