Tag Archives: graphic facilitation example


The goal of the Future of Our Salmon Conferences is to facilitate dialogue between the co-managers of the resource and a broad range of other interested parties in an ongoing quest for a unified vision of salmon restoration in the Columbia River Basin. Each conference approaches this goal with a different theme.

The following video is an example using graphic facilitation in a conference setting which encourages participant dialogue and participation.

Conference context:  The 2014 Future of Our Salmon conference focused on restoring fish passage to historical locations throughout the Columbia River Basin for salmon, lamprey, sturgeon, bull trout and other migratory and resident species. Out of this conference, we intend to develop principles, parameters and a process to drive the development of a unified strategy that allows Columbia River Basin fish to return to their entire historical range. Learn more Salmon and the Columbia River Basin by clicking this link.

Water As A Leadership Metaphor

Water is a common metaphor when looking at leadership

Water as a Leadership Metaphor

Over the last twelve years I’ve had the opportunity to visually record leadership synthesis sessions of more than 300 executives. Each presenter was asked to provide a leadership metaphor that described his or her leadership journey. The graphic facilitation example is of one of these many leadership presentations.

The most common metaphor in all the presentations is the presence of water in it’s many forms. Rivers and oceans, swift moving water and the calm of water in a pond or backyard garden. The image of water and leadership together makes me think of a person who provides steady leadership in a rapidly changing if not volatile business climate. A few phrases come to mind, the calm before the storm or the eye of the storm. Or in the image I included, preparing for a raft trip.

In this presentation leadership is about everyone being in the same boat going in the same direction. Our work is a journey of continuous learning. As a leader being reflective of how his or her actions influence others. Jeff reminds us that in every journey we “paint the path” as we go. We have to learn to live with a degree of uncertainty and trust that the journey will unfold.

If we have a strong team and a clear destination point the journey should be fun, a bit scary at times, but in the end a team affirming experience. One we remember and discuss around a warm campfire at the end of the day.

How do you influence the people around you? Comment below; I’d like to know.