To be a master communicator you must develop a rich visual style

I was working with a client in Chicago and enjoyed some deep-dish pizza. Build a deep visual toolbox.

I’ve written about teams oppressed by “the tyranny of pie charts ™.”  So set in their ways, they cannot break free from ineffective visuals simply because they fear change. However, when you successfully break free, it’s imperative not to fall into the same state of poor communication by relying on the one visual replacing the “pie chart.”

In the same way we may discuss an idea using different words to construct sentences, paragraphs, and so on…we can, and should, use different visuals to communicate depending on the situation. For example, here are three completely different ways to show actuals vs. targets. Same message, unique communication.

Three actuals vs target

One strength of emerging tools such as #Tableau is their ability to seamlessly transform a visual into another with literally one click.  Therein also lies a challenge.  You want to maintain consistent communication throughout your organization.  Set AND ENFORCE guidelines for when/how to use each visual so that individuals do not create new versions “they like better.”

Does this make sense? Are you working this way? Please share…