PLAN: Phase Three of the ImageThink Method™

This post is part of our 6-part series on The ImageThink Method™, our unique process for leading organizational transformations, from culture shifts to strategic plans to launching a new brand. Developed by ImageThink CEO and Founder Nora Herting, this proprietary framework applies visual theory, graphic facilitation, and design thinking in strategic ways to move these major initiatives forward. The end result isn’t just a successful project, but a more engaging, collaborative, and creative process.

To Fail to PLAN is to PLAN to Fail

This post dives into the PLAN Phase of The ImageThink Method™, which, as the name implies, is when teams get down to brass tacks of laying out a plan, mapping out a strategy, and assigning responsibilities towards the launch of your product, service, or initiative.

Graphic of ImageThink Method - Plan phase

During the PLAN Phase, ImageThink helps clients picture the path to success by combining some of our classic visual templates, real-time graphic recording, and an executive summary, which encapsulates the entire project in a road map of sorts, and which can be animated or turned into a video to be shared with all team members and stakeholders responsible for making it happen.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a firm grasp of how ImageThink leads clients through planning, a real-world client example of an ImageThink guided PLAN Phase, and most importantly, some simple questions to help you kick off your own planning process.

What Does it Look Like in Practice?

For those following along with our previous posts, we have been detailing the ImageThink Method™ in action. Beginning in 2016, we partnered with a global auto manufacturer, at the time based in California, to help a new business unit with an initiative to evaluate and improve its paid media partnerships.

Let us paint the picture for you. It’s now 2017, and our business unit has relocated to a new city. Eager to move on with the project, ImageThink worked alongside an external facilitation partner to usher our mutual client into the PLAN Phase of the method, during which we helped document and illustrate a set of Partnership Principles.

In visualizing these principles we built upon prior work from the SCAN and ENGAGE Phases of the project, ImageThink was part of several brainstorming breakouts, recording and organizing everything from action items, owners, milestones, and deadlines.

How to Begin the PLAN Phase of the ImageThink Method™

  1. Have you done the homework, measurement, and evaluation of the SCAN Phase? Have you secured buy-in from your team and internal stakeholders on the proposal (ENGAGE Phase)?
  2. Are all of the team leads, who can provide accurate timeline projections, troubleshoot potential pitfalls, and take responsibility going to be in the room or virtual meeting space?
  3. Can you summarize the current state, ideal future state, and potential dangers in a few words or short statement?
  4. Are you ready and willing to go back to the SCAN or ENGAGE Phase based on what you learn during the PLAN Phase? (Hint: we find it usually works better when the answer to this one is “yes”)
  5. Do you have an agenda for guiding the discussion, plenty of time for thoughtful questioning, and an agreed upon method of arbitration for resolving conflict or disagreement that arises in the room?

Ready to break out the business cartography tools and map out your strategy? ImageThink is here to help! Just use the chat function or click here to schedule a discussion and demo of how we help clients in the PLAN phase.

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