Through Guy’s eyes – The return of visual language

In my last blog, I spoke about soft skills and how they are, essentially, an organisation’s intangible asset. Once you take this view, it’s easy to see that they should be treated with the same respect and care afforded all other assets, from IP to premises.

If you’re still not convinced, here’s a fact that might sway your opinion: rewards and remuneration ranks as only the sixth reason that most employees leave their jobs. The top five reasons given by employees for their departure all relate to their relationships with their managers and the corporate culture – those so-called ‘soft skills’. So, yes, continue to pooh-pooh them if you wish – but understand that it’s going to cost you. Understand, too, that you’re more vulnerable than you think.

2017 B.C. vs 2017 A.D Hieroglypics vs Emojis - the return of visual language

Now that you’re aware of the danger, it’s time to take steps to fix it. That’s where Blueprints can come in. I’ve spoken here about our unique process, which encourages employees to co-create the culture they wish to see manifest within the organisation; culture, of course, being one of those soft skills I’ve spoken about.

The reason this process is so effective is because it hinges on the co-creation of visual language. Its pictorial nature means that it evokes a far more visceral emotion than any written information.

We’re back to that old adage; a picture paints a thousand words. There’s a reason this truism has stood the test of time: visionary language is a primal way for humans to express themselves. Think about how early man felt compelled to draw on walls, for example, or how the Egyptians conveyed their thoughts in hieroglyphs. In fact, you may have seen the Internet meme which compares our extensive use of emojis as a reversion to the same language – a tongue in cheek comment, yes, but true nonetheless

Here’s the thing, though: representing your organisation’s vision and culture through a blueprint is not the same as assigning a picture to denote a value (if you have any doubts about how I view values, read here. Doing this is as superficial as it is disingenuous; it’s a cosmetic solution that does nothing to address the real problem.

In contrast, a blueprint is applied with rigour and discipline. And it works – we have testimonials from several clients attributing R1 billion worth of value to their Blueprints process. There’s no clearer proof that it delivers a return on investment.

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    Guy Martin is the founder & Managing Director of Blueprints: assisting CEOs to drive growth by increasing the alignment of their people to business goals by 50% within an 18 month period.