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Napkins – are they recycled? September 23, 2009

Posted by Alison Zander in Back of the Napkin, [Books] Visualization & Presentation.
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Dan Roam’s book, The Back of the Napkin addresses how to solve problems and sell ideas with pictures. I am a quantitative thinker and I do not instinctively draw pictures to convey my ideas visually. This book definitely encouraged me to draw ideas out. I’ve experimented with drawing, and I now know that I can draw well enough to convey my ideas to others and that in some settings drawings can be more impactful. I don’t know if I will ever be the “black pen” person that can’t wait to get in front of a whiteboard with a marker, but the book has encouraged me pick up the marker and draw.

This book also described frameworks to use when approaching visual thinking. Although the frameworks offered were great thought starters, the images the book used as examples are already used in business to communicate ideas. I think the book brought to light a fresh approach to problem solve and sell ideas through free-hand drawings, but the way that it was presented gave me the impression that I was going to learn some break through ways to be more effective. I think this book will help me draw ideas rather than listing them especially in brainstorming sessions, but I didn’t really get a new perspective from this book and I found myself wishing I had picked something else.

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