The Power of Pictures
“Congratulations on the new medical school!” I said to Victor Boschini, the Chancellor of Texas Christian University, last month. I was in Fort Worth to graphic record TCU’s 2019 Board of Trustees Retreat. Two years earlier, at the previous Board Retreat, the TCU & UNTHSC School of Medicine was one of their audacious new plans.
Grinning from ear to ear, Victor replied “ Thank you, and thank YOU for all you did to make it happen!”
Now, you may wonder, what did I, Katherine Torrini, do to help make their new medical school happen? I didn’t donate to the fundraising campaign, I didn’t lay any of the bricks, I didn’t recruit staff or students—not directly, at least. But I did do one very important thing: I helped them SEE their vision and I helped them SHARE their vision.
Victor’s response to me was so gracious and inclusive in part because he is a devoted (and wildly popular) servant leader whose way of being is to shine gratitude and appreciation out on everyone he works with—students, faculty, staff, board members… and graphic recorders alike.
And the other reason his response makes so much sense is that TCU is a truly innovative organization that has so fully embraced visual storytelling as a core communication and community engagement strategy, that my 2017 graphic recording boards actually did make a perceptible impact on that building initiative!
Visual Engagement Strategy
We always coach clients to consider the whole life cycle of the graphic recordings we create—from the moment they emerge during an event to their post-event “life” as both image and physical artifact. But TCU is a standout; no other client has made more of the work we have done together —or gotten better results from it.
For a year following the 2017 Board of Trustees Retreat, they physically carried the graphic recording boards all over campus for meeting after meeting with stakeholders. This highly personalized community engagement strategy was one of the major ways they socialized their “Lead On” vision for the University (including the TCU & UNTHSC School of Medicine).
The graphic recording boards were such an integral part of their rollout that a year later they commissioned me to create an updated version of them, incorporating the stakeholder input they had received. The updated Lead On Strategic Plan was then re-introduced to faculty, students and staff at the special reception pictured here—with the revised boards displayed next to the originals to illustrate the development of the process.
Show Them & They Will Build It
It’s always a thrill to work with such a high-functioning team. It’s a real honor to doodle their dreams in a way that concretely supports them to become a reality over time (complete with an inaugural Medical School class of 60 students!)
That’s why we do what we do. For the Creative Catalyst team, there’s nothing better than seeing the power of pictures and the power of people making great things happen in the world!