Tools and methodologies, both visual and interactive

Tools are useful approaches to achieving the results we want: understanding, alignment, commitment, action.

What are visual tools and what are they good for?

Visual tools are my special interest. I feel they are a needed antidote to the modern western focus on left brain approaches. They tap into the brain in a different way than speech and numbers, allowing us to literally see connections and patterns, and use other faculties in our brains.

Where can I learn more about visual tools?

Mind maps
Concept diagrams
Concept maps
Vee diagrams
Matrix, grid, window diagrams
Graphic organizers
Prioritizing grid


Visual thinking basics from Dave Gray (of Xplane)


The Thinker’s Toolkit: 14 Powerful Techniques for Problem Solving, Morgan D. Jones, 1998, Three Rivers Press, NY, NY

Thinking Visually: Business Applications of 14 Core Diagrams, Malcolm Craig, Ph.D., 2000, Continuum, London and New York

Practical Systems Thinking, Alan Waring, 1996, International Thomson Business Press, London, UK and Boston, MA

What are interaction tools and what are they good for?

I am also interested in interaction tools which improve our effectiveness in working together. Meetings are intended to provide an opportunity for a group to think together, to create results no individual could achieve on their own. Too often, they fall far short, resulting in frustration and discouragement. I enjoy facilitating groups, and have studied ways to increase their ability to achieve results. It’s important for us to learn peaceful, creative, inclusive ways to solve the difficult problems of modern life.

Where can I learn more about interaction tools?

Dialogue mapping
Causal mapping
Dynamic facilitation
Cafe conversations


A toolbox of participatory techniques from International Association for Public Participation


Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making, Sam Kaner with Lenny Lind, Catherine Toldi, Sarah Fisk, Duane Berger, 1996, New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, BC, Canada

The Workshop Book: from Individual Creativity to Group Action, R. Brian Stanfield, 2002, New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, BC, Canada

How to Make Meetings Work, Michael Doyle and David Straus, 1976, Berkley Books, NY, NY