This last week I was at The Clearing in Washington DC , co-facilitating a workshop designing an interagency approach to logistics for crises like Haiti. At the conclusion The Clearing's founder, Chris McGoff, introduced Visual Meetings and invited everyone to join staff and associates of The Clearing in a post-meeting reception and book signing. Chris's new company is making graphic facilitation a central part of their offering, since their mission is to tackle the most complex problems government faces. They don't believe they can do this without visualization, partnering with The Grove. It was impressive to be sharing about this work right inside a conference room filled with the evidence. Many a person in the meeting said they were so relieved not to have to go to a meeting full of PowerPoints. A couple of the participants got extras for their kids -- a request that made my day.
Before The Clearing, Chris created Touchstone, a large 200 person DC consulting firm that he sold three years ago. We both share Michael Doyle as a mentor and friend and actually co-facilitated Michael's memorial service when he passed away several years ago. We originally met when Chris was heading up IBM's decision support rooms offering in the 1990s. IBM thought these computer aided meeting rooms might work as a shared resource for business but eventually went another direction. Chris built Touchstone after that experience.
At the event for Michael. Chris pledged to finish a book he and Michael were working on that visualized the primary concept of excellent consulting practice. They called them "The Primes" and that will be the name of the new book. Chris is currently refining the final version. It's another testimony to the power of simple visuals to explain complex topics. (I'll blog about it when it appears for sure).
While I was in Washington my wife Susan was visiting our daughter Valentine, and our grandson Eric in Philadelphia, on her way to a writing retreat i Ireland. They were excited to find Visual Meetings out on the new release table at Barnes & Noble in Philadelphia and sent me this picture. Richard Narramore, my Wiley editor, says B&N decides by itself what gets featured and that this is a really great break. You can connect to more about the book on line at About Visual Meetings.