So You Have Reservations…
I’m talking to you. Yes, you, the one in the back of the room thinking, or sometimes saying:
“Tell me again, why are we drawing these cartoons?”
“We’re very busy people here. This better be good!”
“That won’t work with our brand!”
During the past few decades of working with corporate leadership teams, I’ve continually heard questions and concerns like those above. Many leaders raise these concerns because they’re worried that their strategy will be considered less real, taken too lightly, or worse – perceived as a joke. Or maybe they have a deep concern that they must connect the look and feel of their learning materials to the look and feel of their brand. There’s logic in that. I think the use of comics as a method for conveying a strategy or a learning initiative’s key information, however, goes deeper. And, I think comics are simply misunderstood.
What a Comic Is Not
A comic is not solely used as a medium to communicate stories to children – though it can be.
Comics in western societies have been largely limited to this medium, and subsequently have been defined as such. But in other societies, comics have been and still are being used in many unique ways. It’s not uncommon in Japan to find a business professional reading a comic while traveling to work, or for Japanese students to learn from comics in their education systems.
What a Comic Is
A comic is simply a sequence of images put in a deliberate order and associated with words or data to communicate ideas, stories, directions, etc. Comics are everywhere!
What about cave art? Comic! Familiar with Catholicism’s Stations of the Cross? Comic! Ever used a visual instruction pamphlet on an airplane – you know, the ones that show you what to do in case of an emergency? Comic! Tapestries, hieroglyphics, storyboards … all comics! Even movies are essentially “moving” comics.
Using Comics in Your Business
Now let’s apply this to your business. I want to help you see why you should commit to using visuals at work. I’d like to share with you four key characteristics that comics epitomize, ones that enable effective strategic communication.
- Comics tap into an innate form of communication we’ve been using since the beginning of recorded human history.
- Comics disarm sensitive topics.
- Comics suspend disbelief.
- Comics have powerful alignment properties.
Over the course of subsequent posts, I will share with you an in-depth look at each of the characteristics above and prove just why it’s a great idea to use comics in your business. Until then, why not take notice of how often you use or come across comics in your day-to-day activities?