IMPLEMENT and REFLECT: Phases Five and Six of the ImageThink Method™

This post is the final 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 read all parts of the series, CLICK HERE.

We’ve rolled the final two stages of the ImageThink Method™ into a single article, because generally, ImageThink isn’t involved in the fifth phase, IMPLEMENT. That’s our clients’ moment to shine, and where they put their best work and ideas to the test.

Implementation is where boots hit the pavement. Here the discrete action items are checked off the list and the project, program, or transformation takes place. Teams have clear direction and can work with some independence as they are hitting goals and meeting metrics. During the Act phase, leadership holds teams and individuals accountable to their tasks and deadlines.

Where Rubber Meets Road; and REFLECTING on the Journey

Graphic of ImageThink Method - Reflect phase

Rather, in this post, we’ll primarily focus on the REFLECT Phase of The ImageThink Method™, which is perhaps the most important phase of your project lifecycle. It is time to take a bird’s eye view and evaluate how successful the project has been, and where it can be improved. It’s not about gauging who to praise, or who to blame, but rather about how to iterate and endlessly improve an offering, from an end-user’s perspective.

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 REFLECT Phase, and most importantly, some simple questions to help you kick off your own planning process.

What Does the REFLECT Phase Look Like in the Real World?

Over the last several weeks, we’ve followed a multi-year working partnership that ImageThink has enjoyed with one of the world’s largest auto manufacturers. One of the most rewarding aspects of this relationship is that it has enabled us to accompany our client fully through the ImageThink Method™.

When we last left this story, our client had laid out the plan, and assembled visual materials to help communicate their new Partnership Principles to the media partners they worked with. Using these tools they were able to strengthen and in a few cases re-evaluate these partnerships to better serve their brand.

Which brings us to 2020, and our current work with our client. Following the successful launch of the new business unit and its partnership initiative, the client returned to us to evaluate what materials worked and resonated, and which could be improved. We’ve developed some new visuals, updated colors and iconography on others, and refreshed many of the pieces to reflect new goals and products for 2020.

As they reflect, we have no doubt that this business unit will discover their next opportunity, and we look forward to SCANNING, ENGAGING, PLANNING, EXCITING, and REFLECTING with them on that, as well.

How to Begin the REFLECT Phase of the ImageThink Method™

  1. For starters, recognize that the REFLECT Phase doesn’t have to take place at the end. We advise ImageThink clients to be REFLECTING on their project and progress throughout their work.
  2. Remember the goals and success metrics that were set during the SCAN Phase of your project? Now’s the time to break those out and see how you measured up? It may also be time to add some new success metrics that you learned along the way.
  3. We love a good SWOT analysis, which can be helpful here. ImageThink has our own version: Celebrations, Alignment, Recognition, and Sharks!
  4. Were there unexpected wins (there were) or challenges (DEFINITELY) along the way? How’d the team handle them? Make sure to note it and celebrate it!
  5. How did each phase of the ImageThink Method™ go, and what Phases were the most helpful? What templates or models do you definitely want to carry forward to the next initiative?
  6. What challenges or opportunities for improvement did you identify? Any that may be a good fit for a future SCAN session to kick off a new project?
  7. Don’t be tempted to skip the REFLECT Phase! Our clients are usually very good about doing a post-mortem analysis when a project doesn’t pan out. But when things go to plan and success is being enjoyed, it’s easy to skip looking back and assume everything went great; don’t fall into that trap. Even a successful project can benefit from a thorough grilling.

REFLECTING on the Circle of Life (of a Project)

Many ImageThink clients also like to point out how nicely the REFLECT Phase dovetails directly into their next SCAN Phase. It’s no accident that the ImageThink Method™ is a cycle; borrowing from the core principles of design thinking, the Method recognizes that every project, service, or product is iterative, and should be built upon. It also recognizes that the process is never over; today’s perfect product is out of date and out of touch tomorrow. By applying the ImageThink Method™ as a core tool in their approach to work, ImageThink clients are able to always prioritize the right project at the right time and stay ahead of the curve.

Ready to thoughtfully peer into the rearview mirror and honestly evaluate how things are going? 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 REFLECT phase.

 

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