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Weatherhead School of Management

Drawing Ideas and Modeling Change: Visual Thinking for Managers

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Managers face increasingly complex problems and ambiguous situations, and they often find themselves needing to think more like designers. One aspect that characterizes designers and design thinkers is their ability to visualize problems through sketching, drawing and modeling. These methodologies are powerful tools that can be used to explore complex situations, solve problems, communicate insights and ultimately sell ideas. In each of these applications, it is not the beauty of the outcome but the effectiveness of the process that is most important. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a visual person, you can quickly learn to employ simple techniques to understand existing conditions, envision change and communicate value more clearly.

The program will translate visual representation concepts, including points of view, perspective, scale and figure/ground assignment, into new approaches and strategies to understand a variety of typical management situations. Participants will apply a progression of techniques from unstructured rapid sketching to structured drawing and more three-dimensional modeling to demonstrate their use in the range of applications, which may include strategic planning, service design and delivery, improving stakeholder experience, process analysis and improvement, and organizational change.


  • Drawing and modeling for problem solving and strategic planning processes, not merely presentation
  • Posing the problem visually rather than verbally
  • Selecting and applying representation techniques to generate new insights
  • Translating design concepts of scale, perspective and figure/ground approach problem solving more holistically

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, participants will:

  • Produce simple sketches, drawing and models that support their thinking
  • Use these methodologies to explore complex situations and problems
  • Think more clearly about relationships, influence, and causation
  • Understand how to select the right tools for a particular situation
  • Use visual representation to more effectively communicate ideas

Who should attend

Managers across all functional areas will benefit.


James Moustafellos is the Managing Director and Practice Lead for Business Design at Liquidhub (a Capgemini company). In this role, he sets the vision and roadmap for the application of design to create innovative experiences and solve complex business challenges for some of the world’s leading o...
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