Successful change is not the result of profound intention but sustained attention.

February 26, 2016 Affective LeadershipEmotional IntelligencePeer Powered PerformancePositive DevianceSpirit at WorkTopics  One comment

Shon Watkins

Shon Watkins is our “Chief Imaginator” his responsibility is to convert complex ideas into irresistible illustrations.

We have all experienced the life-changing energy of learning something that we absolutely know will change our culture forever, only to have the message fade away drowned out by too much to do and too little time.


The solution is to create a system that is:

1. Quick

word blackboard

2. Easy

3. Instantly recognizable

4. Universally understandable

5. Consistently renewing

6. Tirelessly uplifting

7. Persistently memorable

8. Emotionally resonant

9. Purposely designed

10.Conveying a meaning-full message


The solution is found in pictures

In the world of communication words are hard work for our brains. Every time we read anything each letter is broken down into its component parts and distributed throughout our brains. Words drain our attentive resources by requiring the brain to analyze each shape before assembling them into a meaningful thought.

In contrast, images become so indelibly imprinted on our brains that you can be shown 2,560 photographs for just ten seconds each and three days later your recognition accuracy would likely be over 90%.

Not Intention but Attention

buzz boxInstead of books people don’t have time to read, training films too long to remember and handouts that remain stuck in drawers we use timed and targeted toolkits of video, audio and print lessons all supported by thought-provoking cards and posters. Immediately following live training we begin a process of providing consistent reinforcement through a targeted series of training materials. Each resource is designed to take just minutes to read, watch or listen to followed by specific action steps.

cave drawingOur visual systems for communications have evolved over millions of years, while the written word has only been around for about 5,000 years.

Today the power of pictures is even stronger. From July 2011 to July 2012 Pinterest’s weekly visits exploded from 1.27 million to 29 million while Instagram’s use has grown more than 200 times.

Images are not only powerful for encouraging positive behaviors, but also discouraging non- productive habits.

A combination of posters and cards of the image here serve to increase the awareness of those who may be unconsciously overbearing while at the same time making it socially unacceptable for those who deliberately bully others to pursue their own agendas.


Imagery changes the conversations

The most powerful lessons are of little value if they don’t become part of our cultural conversation. We are physiologically hardwired to notice, remember (and unfortunately) talk about bad news.

Discouraging Bad Behavior

dung-beetleHow would you discourage those who may have developed the unfortunate habit of sharing any bad news they can find with everyone who will listen? How about a Dung Beetle? This simple image not only makes us smile but creates a critical awareness of the way one person’s “bad day” can roll through an entire workplace.

When combining these images with video, audio and print lessons, this pungent pest can be a light-hearted deterrent to “gloomy gossips” and “malicious discontents” who rob the workplace of precious time, energy and enthusiasm.

This enlightening illustration is also an irresistible reminder
to be aware of the thoughts we roll around in our own minds.



Images inspired by your team

The most effective images are those inspired by conversations, direction, or challenges faced by team members.

Starting with a simple sketch created in response to something we have heard or seen, we let your team design or customize their own images.


  • Is there a character or illustration that represents the aspirations of your team?

  • Are you using imagery to communicate cultural character?

  • Are your change initiatives constantly benefiting from visual reinforcement?

Out of sight is out of mind.

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One comment to Successful change is not the result of profound intention but sustained attention.

  • Engage through Imagery |  says:

    […] 6June Successful change is not the result of profound intention but sustained attention. […]

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