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Suggested Podcasts

Dan Roam - Visual Thinking

How to Expand Your Horizons Through Visual Thinking

Dan Roam
Dan Roam

"Visual thinking is how we use our eyes (and our mind's eye) to look at a problem, see patterns and opportunities, imagine ways to manipulate those patterns to our advantage, and show those insights to others." - Dan Roam

Dan Roam is the founder of Digital Roam, a management consulting company that helps business executives solve complex problems through visual thinking. Through lectures, workshops, books, and hands-on projects with many of the world's most influential organizations, Dan has helped teams learn to solve complex problems by relearning how to see.

Dan is the author of the international bestseller The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures, Business Week and Fast Company's best innovation book of the year - A new book, Unfolding the Napkin The Hands-On Method for Solving Complex Problems with Simple Pictures, was just released, and Portfolio has just published a new expanded edition of Back of The Napkin, in color for the first time.

Questions Peter Clayton asked Dan Roam

  • Is Unfolding the Napkin a sequel to Back of the Napkin?
  • Dan, were you a doodler in school?
  • We all know how boring resumes are, I wonder what would happen if you tried to illustrate you background, accomplishments, using the techniques
  • Dan, I do radio. How can your concepts help me communicate to my listeners and my sponsors.
  • Unfolding the Napkin is structured as a 4 day work shop. Why did you take this approach?
  • 4 days is a considerable commitment of time - why should I invest my time in doing this?
  • It evolves from Look, See Imagine to show -- it that order. Why this structure?
  • Have you really been able to get CEO's to sit down and draw stick figures?
  • A couple of stories I'd like you to share from your book -- giving a presentation to a large financial company last year, right when the market was tanking
  • You pitched McKinsey using lego drawings.
  • Could you share perhaps, one or two success stories with us of people who've employed strategies you teach in your books?

An original workbook companion to the acclaimed business bestseller The Back of the Napkin

Dan Roam's The Back of the Napkin, a BusinessWeek bestseller, taught readers the power of brainstorming and communicating with pictures. It presented a new and exciting way to solve all kinds of problems-from the boardroom to the sales floor to the cubicle jungle.

The companion workbook, Unfolding the Napkin, helps readers put Roam's principles into practice with step-by-step guidelines. It's filled with detailed case studies, guided do-it-yourself exercises, and plenty of blank space for drawing. Roam structured the book as a complete four-day visual-thinking seminar, taking readers step-by-step from "I can't draw" to "Here is the picture I drew that I think will save the world."

The workbook teaches readers how to:

  • Improve their three "built-in" visual problem solving tools.
  • Apply the four-step visual thinking process (look-see-imagine-show) in any business situation.
  • Instantly improve their visual imaginations.
  • Learn how to recognize the type of problem to choose the best visual solution.

If The Back of the Napkin was a guide to fine dining, Unfolding the Napkin is the cookbook that will soon be heavily marked up and dogeared.

Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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Innovation: Interviews with Visionaries