VisualsSpeak to Manage Change, Part Five

 In Visioning

Note: This is the fifth and final segment of a multi-part series looking at how VisualsSpeak tools were used in a real-world context. View previous installment.

We get asked from time to time to give examples about how the VisualsSpeak toolset is used amongst the members of the VisualsSpeak community. So over the course of a handful of blog posts, we’re sharing one such example, with the Housing Authority of Portland.

Lessons Learned

What made this session successful?

It is never easy to deliver news to an organization that will result in major changes and an unknown future. The Housing Authority of Portland events were successful for a number of reasons:

  • The keynote helped everyone see the big picture and how HAP is not alone struggling to provide affordable housing. In fact, the agency is one of the most successful in the country.
  • The executive director talked about the successes, but also acknowledged the challenges of recent years and how hard it has been.
  • Both speakers were authentic in their passion for serving those who needed assistance with housing and other services.
  • Both speakers used personal stories to talk about the changes. This helped create the sense that everyone is all in this together.
  • Asking the question in the form of, “how can I contribute,” created a shared goal for everyone in the room.
  • Creating individual images gave everyone a voice in the conversation and a chance to be heard by a member of the management team.
  • Creating group images reinforced what the individuals said, and provided a platform to bring diverse ideas together to form a large whole.
  • Having each group tell their stories demonstrated how aligned the staff was, particularly in their passion for serving their clients.
  • The visual process was fun, generating laughter and engaging conversations which people remembered long after the event.

One of the HAP images

Final thoughts

  • Strategic change initiatives are a team building opportunity
  • Giving people a voice in their future facilitates buy-in (even if they don’t have the ultimate say)
  • Giving people a voice builds morale and trust
  • With the right set-up, change initiatives can be a celebratory event

For more information about the VisualsSpeak ImageSet, VisualsSpeak’s team-building tools, icebreakers, or other products, check out the Products menu above (on our website).


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