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Imagineering at Corbion


Does a picture really say more than a 1000 words?

This expression originates from a Chinese proverb “Hearing something a hundred times isn't better than seeing it once" but got popular in the Western
world after the US advertising industry started using it at the beginning of the 20th century to promote the use of photography in advertising. Unfortunately, it’s less common in strategy development.

We were recently asked to facilitate a day on ‘research excellence’ at Corbion. The team was international and multidisciplinary; some of them knew each other quite well, others not yet. We decided to start off with pictures rather than words and asked people to pick an image that expressed what they personally wanted research excellence to be for Corbion. We pre-selected 16 images, but it turned out that there was quite a bit of alignment – we had many double or triple images. Most of all: we had a very engaging start to our day and the team developed a deeper understanding of their research excellence ambition, and what is needed to realize this.

It reminded us that images really are very helpful in developing a shared purpose, they communicate the essence of a complex idea far more effectively than a description does. And they provoke a dialogue with new questions, concepts, and insights.

What is the balance between using words and pictures in your organisation? Are you using images in your strategy processes? 

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