This exercise is aimed at process consultants and facilitators; it helps you to respond to the doubts and scepticism that can arise when you suggest picture cards as a tool for educational processes, handling obstacles and challenges, strategizing and developing, etc.
Make a picture wall using a Magnum Set and hang it up in the HR department, conference centre, meeting room, teachers’ lounge, etc.: Make holes in the top and bottom corners of the cards with a hole punch and tie them together with string, wire or plastic rings.
When someone comes to you for advice about useful process tools, you ask them to pick out three pictures that make them think of good metaphors or symbolism.
Then you ask them whether one or more of these picture cards can symbolize whatever it is that this person wants to achieve with the tool they are looking for. This can go one of two ways: EITHER a) The person answers and you can ask them to elaborate using their three chosen cards. You should also contribute yourself with something that you notice in the pictures. This way the person can see how the same images can be understood and interpreted in many different ways. OR: b) The person can’t find an answer. In this case, you ask specifically what it is that they want from the process tool and try to find something in the three pictures that can symbolize this. This will help them associate more freely.
Help them by posing questions that can cause a deeper interpretation of the image than they originally thought. For instance, a picture of a key can often lead to an objective like: “We have to unlock the solution for avoiding overly long and pointless meetings”. You can ask questions like: “What do you see when you look through the keyhole?” “What would happen in the room, if the door deadlocks?” “Is there anything in the picture that describes what would happen if the key doesn’t work?” “Does the rusty colours of the picture inspire any thoughts about your objective?” If there are several people in the conversation, you can ask: “Do any of you see something else in the picture of the key in the lock?” “Does the picture inspire other ideas to you?” “Is there another picture card in the picture wall that you think has something important to contribute to your objective?” This way you can demonstrate how the picture cards engage all the senses, illuminate a case from many different angles and pave the way for creative new ways of thinking.
You can buy plastic hooks for building the picture walls on Dialoogle’s webshop.