Visualizing questioning

As I’ve been traveling around talking about beautiful questions, I’ve realized that there is a new art form flourishing now—the art of visualizing talks. I’ve gained a new appreciation for how images and words can reinforce each other, as I’ve watched some skillful visual notetakers make art out of my ideas.

It started with Alyssa Gallagher (@am.gallagher), when she created this sketchnote tribute to A More Beautiful Question and posted it on Twitter.

Alyssa_GallagherSketchNotes

Click image to expand. By Alyssa Gallagher

I met Alyssa when I traveled out to California to do a series of speeches on questioning and was able to thank her in person. She was one of the hosts of the Los Altos School District Summit in September 2014. Lynn Carruthers (lynn@lynncarruthers.com) took these notes at that education summit while I and my fellow speaker, author Lisa Kay Solomon (@lisakaysolomon), spoke to the large audience of parents and educators about “Creating Conditions of Discovery and Inquiry.”

Click to expand. By Lynn Carruthers

Click to expand. By Lynn Carruthers

Another stop was at California College of the Arts (CCA) in downtown San Francisco. There Franziska Sessler created this visualization on the fly while I led the students through my presentation about the power of questioning. I’m amazed by how much she captured in such a small space.

Click to expand.

Click to expand. By Franziska Sessler

The next day I dropped by Jump Associates in San Mateo, where founder Dev Patnaik (@devpatnaik) hosted a discussion with me in front of his large team of consultants and a visual notetaker whose sketchnote captures our flow of ideas in two of my favorite colors, purple and green:

WB at Jump Associates

Click to expand.

The article “5 Ways to Help Studencts Become Better Questioners” I wrote for Edutopia.com got new life breathed into it when artist Rebecca Zuñiga (@rebezuniga) created the following sketchnote. I saw firsthand the power of a great graphic when this one spread around like the educational twitterverse like wildfire.

 

Click to expand. By Rebecca Zuniga

Click to expand. By Rebecca Zuniga

October 2017 addendum:

Love this “visual synopsis” of A More Beautiful Question by artist Dani Saveker. She posted it on Twitter, and later wrote to me, “Capturing the essence of inspiring content is what it’s all about, that and learning more.”

Click to expand. By Dani Saveker

July 2015 addendum:

I came across a review of A MORE BEAUTIFUL QUESTION on Amazon by a reader named Peter Wung, where he wrote:

“…As I read the book, I became more systematic about underlining key ideas, I became more engrossed in the art and practice of asking questions. Berger gives us a lot of precedence, as will any good business book writer, but he also challenges us with the questions that he was asking. It is all very meta and coupled. I must say that his process hooked me and made me think longer and more in depth about how I think and ask questions.

In the end I had mind mapped the entire book and I am going through the process of creating a cheat sheet of the lessons learned for myself as I am convinced that I will need to be reminded of the practice of asking questions in my daily life.”

I was curious about Peter’s cheat sheet and mind map, and asked him if he would share them with me. It’s fascinating to see how various people make sense of a book and its ideas, so I’m sharing his colorful visualizations here for your enjoyment:

PeterWung-Visio-AMoreBeautifulQuestion

Click to expand.

PeterWungMindMap_Question

Click to expand.


For those interested in more types of graphics and visualizations around the topics of questioning, creativity, and innovation, stop by my Pinterest page, at http://www.pinterest.com/warrenberger/innovation-creativity-questioning/ 

 

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About the Author

Innovation expert and questionologist Warren Berger has studied hundreds of the world’s foremost innovators, entrepreneurs, and creative thinkers to learn how they ask questions, generate original ideas, and solve problems. He is the author or co-author of eleven books, including THE BOOK OF BEAUTIFUL QUESTIONS: The Powerful Questions That Will Help You Decide, Create, Connect, and Lead, the bestseller A MORE BEAUTIFUL QUESTION: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas, and the internationally acclaimed GLIMMER, named one of Businessweek’s Best Innovation and Design Books of the Year. His writing appears regularly in Psychology Today, Fast CompanyHarvard Business Review, and The New York Times. He lives in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @GlimmerGuy and subscribe to his blog posts.

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