26 Feb Simple Business Icons for Communication in Business
Visual thinking for business communication is very much a thinking process. It’s not an artistic process. I’m not the best drawer, I’m not even the best doodler, to be honest, but this stuff is about creating icons to have a conversation. Whether it’s an engineer, or a finance person, or a creative in the room, the CEO, the client, or your team. It just allows people to start to see what you’re talking about.
So we might have an icon, start with something as simple as that. If you’re talking about an IT person, they might have some binary scenarios going on in there because obviously all IT people just love binary, that’s what they love. This person is either having a good day or this person is not having so much of a good day. He’s very angry because they’re having a conversation, that the finances are just not coming through, no finances.
Do you see what we’ve done there? Straight away we’ve depicted an IT person having a conversation around finances that are not there.
Alternatively, they might be talking to the CEO. It’s pretty straight forward.
We have Gabrielle the CEO.
She’s thinking about what they can do. She needs to have a discussion with the team about, revenue.
We have a group of people that are in marketing. We simply draw a symbol that represents a group of people and label it “Marketing”. Remember, it’s not about an artistic process, it is about a thinking process. So, they are collectively talking, about a road map, a strategy. A vision. Marketing has a vision. As we start to visually map out the process, flesh out the story in images, the information is quickly shared and digested by the audience. Clearly, we’ve got a discussion with marketing about vision.
You’d agree, this is simple stuff, you can have a lot of fun with these icons. You can pretty much draw anything you want without getting tied up in the artistic value of it. You know if it’s a client and that client has a simple, identifiable logo, you can put that inside the image of your person. If it’s an innovation person, somebody from your innovation team. they might have a light bulb and direct where they’re looking, what they’re looking at.
Take some time to think about what business icons you would use to represent people, projects, plans etc within your business and how they might work in your industry. Experiment with drawing and mapping out the different conversations within your business. For example, somebody could be from finance, somebody could be from manufacturing and they are having a conversation. Are they talking the same language? What icons can you come up with, within your business?
About Your Author
Australian course leader for The Back of The Napkin™
Chris is a business development professional, trainer, entrepreneur and is the Managing Director of a manufacturing company. Starting his career in IT in the 90’s, Chris moved into marketing and business development and has been running businesses and consulting ever since. Chris met Ai-Yat at the 2017 Business Model Generation Masterclass, where he was also introduced to The Back of the Napkin™ and saw an opportunity to bring it to Australia.