When going through a time of organisational change, the ability to see the bigger picture and visualise where you’re headed is invaluable. John Fitzpatrick, Senior Digital Service Manager for the National Prisons and Probations service, came to Scriberia looking for a rich picture to help present clear information and facilitate conversations about digital transformation in the department.
When going through a time of organisational change, the ability to see the bigger picture and visualise where you’re headed is invaluable. In an organisation as large and multi-faceted as the Civil Service, it’s essential to align everyone behind the same vision.
John Fitzpatrick, Senior Digital Service Manager for the National Prisons and Probations service, was responsible for delivering digital transformation in his department.
To help engage teams, create alignment and overcome challenges, he was looking for a clear and engaging way to present information and facilitate conversations about the role of digital across all levels of the organisation.
Having seen one of Scriberia’s rich pictures for the Department for Work and Pensions, John contacted their team to see how pictures could aid the communication for his projects.
John explains: ‘What first attracted me to using pictures was the ability to articulate a vision, however complicated and intricate, on one page.’
John worked closely with Scriberia’s senior visualiser, Matt Kemp, to produce a clear and engaging rich picture of the role of digital in the prison and probation service.
Convinced of the power of pictures to bring clarity, John has since worked with Matt to produce another rich picture that visualises the processes within their project management teams. For this project, John and his team came into the Scriberia studio for a workshop, where Matt live-illustrated an initial sketch of the picture.
John notes: ‘As people see their thoughts and ideas added into the picture, their level of engagement immediately increases. They start to adopt and adapt the picture as their own.’
The rich pictures have broken down boundaries across the organisation. ‘The final picture for the prison and probation service project has really helped to cut across silos and hierarchies,’ says John, ‘people naturally start to adopt the picture as their own, and seeing people take the visuals to the most senior people in the organisation without any ask is hugely rewarding. It’s non-hierarchical when you start to work in pictures.’
And for John, this has been a powerful way of bringing his team together and giving introverts in the organisation a voice.
‘The introverts, the people who never speak in a workshop or put their hand up to talk, they suddenly become challenged. They’re not always comfortable in standing up and talking, but working with pictures encourages them to share their points and integrates them in the group. We saw so much more engagement when we started using pictures.’
And John’s found that the pictures have helped break down boundaries with people outside of the organisation, too.
He explains: ‘If I’m bringing new people into the organisation, whether it’s candidates for interviews or visitors from the government digital service, I can stand in front of the picture and very easily explain what we do to literally anybody.’
The picture now takes pride of place at the front of the building, but John and his team have found other ways to extract value from it, too. ‘We use the rich picture on blog posts and as part of Prezi presentations, where we zoom in on topics we want to focus on.’
Having worked with Scriberia a number of times now, John had a few lessons to share on the creative process.
‘The more practice you get with visual storytelling, the more you mature. The first picture I worked with Scriberia on was an emotional experience; it was very creative and fast-paced. I was getting energy from scribe, Matt, and he was getting energy from me. It felt like part of me and I was very proud.
‘But with every picture you create, each one seems to get better. And that’s because instead of getting hung up on your own opinions, you learn that it’s a collective vision. It’s great that you’re one person championing your project and your agenda, but it’s the change agents in the organisation that really matter. It’s all about collaborating and getting everyone’s voices heard.’