Marcel van Hove
Visual Facilitation Trainings .

bikablo® Radio Insight – How to Keep Practising After Attending The Visual Facilitation Training

bikablo Radio cover

bikablo Radio cover

In this episode I talk about the first day back at work where you need to find a way to apply the new skills in your day to day job. We talk about positive psychology and how you can motivate yourself to progress your visual journey every day in the office. Additional we introduce the visual facilitation garage. An advanced visual facilitation workshop where you can meet people who are on the same journey as you. This workshop will be help every month in Sydney and Melbourne and is hosted in Germany as well for many years. I hope you enjoy this short episode!


Hey! Guys, this is Marcel again from the Bikablo Radio with another insight episode.

Today I want to talk about the third day of the Bikablo training. If you have a look at the Bikablo training program in Australia you might say “There is no third day in the training”, and that’s right.

There is a two days training when you come to the Bikablo fundamentals and practitioner level, but what I mean is the third day, which is the first day when you’re back at work.

At work, the real change happens. You need to find ways to practice and apply the things you learnt on a daily basis. Here you might go through very mixed feelings.
First of all, you get a lot of positive feedback because people come to you and say Oh! My god, when have you learned to draw. I didn’t know that you could do that. That will actually happen, l promise you that, but as with everything new you also will not get it right the first time and you need to be OK with it.

What I mean is that you will not do the same performance you did in the training class. In the training room you had a safe environment and could explore the tools and techniques in your own speed. At work the speed of the others matter and outcomes become more important then the beauty of your lines. Very simple things that you had mastered in the training class are difficult again like drawing the light bulb or simple shapes like boxes and arrows.

The tipping point between positive and negative emotions

Recently, I came across the work from Barbara Fredrickson, she is a scientist with more than twenty years experience in positive psychology. She wrote several books including Love 2.0 and Positivity.

On of her concepts which hit me and I really like is the “tipping point”. It is the ratio between positive and negative emotions and how to balance those feelings in a positive way: According to Barbara’s works, you need about three positive emotions to equalize one negative emotion.

That means for every line you draw not straight or every light bulb pictogram that looks a bit out of shape and funny, you need to celebrate three things that you did right and that you are happy about. The problem is when you tip over to the negative side you are more likely to stop the change you started in the training and through that you would have wasted time and training budget.

So how can you make sure that you get a healthy ratio between your positive emotions so that it equalizes the negative emotions out which will appear most definitely.

How to stay positive?

First, you celebrate everything that you got right and through that motivate yourself. That could mean that you are proud about your neat writing or the bikablo® containers and frames you swapped your content in. Or the strategic use of colours and the way you applied the shadows and highlights – every little success counts towards the positive emotions ratio. Please open your eyes and celebrate those little successes at work every day.

Secondly, I would like to introduce to you another great concept of Barbara Fredrickson work where she describes “micro moments of connections” between people. Those are the beautiful moments when two people see each other. It’s when you understand each others needs and feel connected with someone.

Of course you need a person you trust and can be open to. It’s a person that has a smile always ready for you at work. In our corporate world we need those good mates so that we can support each other every day. When starting visual facilitation you reactivate your drawing skill that you had almost forgotten since childhood and you need good mates that give you constructive feedback to progress further.

Meet like-minded people

However, even if you have great people at work it is very hard for them to offer feedback to you as you probably do something new they have no own experience in. Therefore they struggle to support you even if they would like it.

Here the bikablo® Akademie will not let you down, we present to you the new bikablo® Visual Facilitation Garage. An advanced half-day bikablo® workshop in Sydney and Melbourne that brings together bikablo® graduates to practice, learn and grow together as visual leaders. If you are in German speaking Europe – The visual facilitation garage is also hosted in Germany.

You will get feedback about your work and see what you have already mastered and where you need to improve next. You will learn from someone who is on the same journey as you or just a couple of steps ahead!

I hope that the bikablo® Visual Facilitation Garage can provide you not only with necessary feedback but also creates those awesome “micro-moments of connection” that everyone need to reenergize their batteries so that you stay on track and become a visual ninja at work.

I hope to see you soon in Melbourne or Sydney in the Visual Facilitation Garage.  Thank you very much and have a great week.

bikablo® Radio – How Nicole Brand became a Visual Leader


In this episode Nicole Brand shares her story how she became a visual leader: I had the fortune to work with Nicole Brand for the last 18 month on a daily bases. I saw her progressing from not feeling confident enough to participate in meetings to the point where people follow Nicole’s lead into any meeting room and come along on her visual journeys. I have never seen a steeper learning curve in terms of visual leadership than Nicoles before – I hope the podcast inspires you as much as Nicole inspired me!


Nicole:                               For me the biggest tip is, don’t be afraid to not know everything and pass the pen on to someone else who knows more.

Marcel:                              Welcome everybody to the bikablo® radio, the Visual Facilitation Podcast. With me here today in Melbourne is Nicole Brand. Welcome, Nicole.

Nicole:                               Hi, everyone. Thank you, Marcel.

Marcel:                              Nicole is working as a product owner in a company called MYOB. Tell us a bit about who you are, where you come from, what you do?

Nicole:                               Yes, sure. I’ve been living in Melbourne for the last 20 years. Absolutely love it. It is my new home. I live with a couple of cats. I could be a crazy cat lady in the making.

Marcel:                              Great.

Nicole:                               When I’m not at home with my cats then I’m out practicing yoga and learning how to be a yoga teacher which is also really exciting and if you can’t tell I do like trying to keep myself busy and doing 101 different things. I also work at MYOB as a product owner. I have been with the MYOB for the last 13 years. So I’ve actually been able to work in a number of different roles over the last six or seven years.

Marcel:                              You came to bikablo® visual facilitation drawing class 11 months ago.

Nicole:                               Yes.

Marcel:                              When you look before that time, how was your way of working different?

Nicole:                               Yeah, sure. Really, really different. Within MYOB I’ve had a number of different roles, but at all times I’ve always had to collaborate and work with people. Interestingly, I never really felt equipped or I had the tools or the resources to really facilitate a good meeting and drive to the outcomes. Back then it was quite common to have meetings that didn’t really end with a solution or a resolution or with the outcome that we’re looking for which is perpetuate itself into more meetings.


I also didn’t necessarily have the confidence as well to actually facilitate and to drive things to the right outcomes because I didn’t really feel like I necessarily have the tools. I actually had just a life of meetings.

Marcel:                              A life of meetings, yes. They don’t always come to an outcome and you felt like you don’t have the right tools to drive those meetings.

Nicole:                               Yeah, absolutely. Sometimes we would actually have people in the room who would be able to drive things to the right outcomes, but it was not something that I necessarily felt empowered to do or that I felt confident in doing. I mean, to grab a pen and walk up to a whiteboard. No, thank you. That was definitely not my mode of operation. Especially not with sort of other stakeholders and management there. Yeah, definitely not.

Marcel:                              Then you came then to the training last October and you went to quite a journey with me, you’ll agree. We started the fundamentals class in October and then you came to the practitioner class. Then you actually gave me a hand another day with co-facilitating right and so you have done all the classes and so how has this played out for you? How’s the last journey of the last year?

Nicole:                               First of all, my confidence has increased dramatically over the last year. So much so that I’ve actually had colleagues walk up to me and tell me how they see me as being a completely different person to what they saw a couple of years ago.

Marcel:                              What is different about you?

Nicole:                               It’s being confident and being able to distill conversations down to an essence and being able to visualize that on a whiteboard and being able to take everyone on that journey. There’s nothing more powerful than actually taking a pen to a whiteboard engaging everyone in the room so that they’re all looking at you. Well, actually that’s the best part. They are not looking at you. They’re looking at the whiteboard which is also really nice. You don’t necessarily have all of the eyes on you.

Marcel:                              It’s not so confronting anymore.

Nicole:                               Yes.

Marcel:                              You now have the tool to break through and get the people on to a collaborative whiteboard drawing situation which is much more your playground.

Nicole:                               Exactly. Yes.

Marcel:                              Great. Give us an insight into how the day looks like now in your role. If I’m right, you work as a product owner now at MYOB for a team and how does a day look like for you now?

Nicole:                               Now I will have meetings, but definitely nowhere near as many. I mean ideally everyone wants zero meetings but, yeah, that’s a perfect world, ideal thing. Now my meetings are actually reduced to half an hour. I do not book meetings longer than 30 minutes which is really quite exciting. Everyone walks in with a clear understanding after I’m able to basically take them through what it is they’re looking or we’re looking to talk about.

By the end, we’ve got clear action points, clear understanding of who’s actually going to walk away with difference pieces of work and it’s all done before people get an email. It’s all done in a way where people get buy in into what it is that they are supposed to be doing. Probably one of things that I’ve never really liked is walking into a meeting and then you have a conversation and you walk out, and an hour later the meeting notes come through and you’ve got things against your name and either (a) they don’t look like what you originally discussed or (b) you didn’t even know your name was there.

It’s just really nice to be able to walk away with that so that everyone has that clear understanding of what needs to happen next.

Marcel:                              That means in half an hour you fill a small piece of paper or you fill a wall or what?

Nicole:                               Thankfully, in the office in most of meeting rooms we actually have two whiteboards. So more often then not I’ll usually have one or both whiteboards full.

Marcel:                              After half an hour, right. This is like two and half square meters space.

Nicole:                               Yeah. Two whiteboards might be if it goes longer than half an hour.

Marcel:                              Do you replace meeting minutes?

Nicole:                       The pictures are the meeting minutes.

Marcel:                              All right.

Nicole:                               Yeah.

Marcel:                              Okay. Cool.

Nicole:                               It’s really nice because I usually have someone who’s part of the meeting take a picture of it so that they can also take ownership of it and pass it around to everyone who attended in the meeting. We can then put that up on different wiki pages that we have as well so we can use that for future reference. It’s really quite useful and it’s quite easy to put yourself back into that conversation when you look back at it.

Marcel:                              Nicole, what was the first role at MYOB?

Nicole:                               Helpdesk.

Marcel:                              Helpdesk?

Nicole:                               Yes.

Marcel:                              Then you move to being a business analyst, senior business analyst and then now a product owner in MYOB. There are folks out there who are on a similar journey. What is the one tip you would like to share with the world when people facilitate meetings or bring people together to collaborate?

Nicole:                               Yes, sure. Probably one of the key things is you don’t need to have all the answers. You don’t need to know all of the answers when you’re facilitating. You don’t need to know where you’re going on the journey. You don’t even need to know how to communicate things visually on a whiteboard. Because at the end of the day you’re the person standing up there in front of the whiteboard. You’ve got the pen in your head and whoever has that pen has the attention of people and there’s nothing more powerful than to actually empower someone else to be able to share the message and to communicate and be part of that collaboration picture.   For me biggest tip is, don’t be afraid to not know everything and pass the pen on to someone else who knows more.

Marcel:                              I like that. Pass the pen on.

Nicole:                               Yeah.

Marcel:                              Great. All right. If you’re interested, guys out there, to learn more about checkout the bikablo® academy website. It will be in the show note. There are trainings coming in Sydney and Melbourne. Find them in to show note and thank you for listening. Thank you, Nicole for attending. Do you have anything you want to share before we wrap up?

Nicole:                               Have fun.

Marcel:                              Yay!

Nicole:                               Visualising is so much fun. I used to absolutely visualise everything that I do more often than not because it’s so much easier to do and it’s so much fun. There’s no boundaries to it, absolutely no boundaries. So put any on there and just enjoy it for what it is.

Marcel:                              Cool. Thank you very much and have a great weekend, Nicole.

Nicole:                               Thank you, Marcel.

Marcel:                              All right.

Nicole:                               Thank you, everyone.

bikablo® Radio – More to explore in the World of Visualisation with Martin Haussmann

Solving problems through drawing

This episode looks beyond the horizont: We start with a comprehensive introduction into the world of visualisation and go down the rabbit hole into group facilitation and conflict solving through drawing together. When we come out again, we go 12 years back in history and talk about the early days of visualisation when bikablo® wasn’t known at all. How the systematic bikablo® technique appeared and what the three pillars of bikablo® are about. We then look into the future and explore areas that bikablo® could explore in the future.

Having a look into different cultures

We look into different cultures and how other cultures use visuals in different ways. Over the last 12 years we have just started to learn about visual thinking and there is much more to explore.

  • slideshow of 2-days bikablo® visual facilitation training

slideshow of bikablo® visual facilitation training

A slideshow for everyone

Last week I ran a 2-days class of the bikablo® visual facilitation training again in Melbourne. While I created the photo documentation for participants, I thought why not exporting a slideshow out for everyone to share.

To give a bit of context: On the first day of the training you reactivate your drawing skills and on the second day we put the learnings into practise with group facilitation exercises, visual storytelling and graphic recording.

Get an idea about the training

The original slideshow export was much to long so I cut out graphic recording and the group facilitation exercise from the second day. I think you get an idea about the training anyway. Enjoy the 60 seconds footage!


Eventbrite - Visual Facilitation Training (Fundamentals & Practitioner Day)



  • Meetings are effective, short and fun again!

Why start drawing today and become a visual facilitator tomorrow?

In everyday life our brain processes pictures all the time, for example when we see a car on the street. The brain will immediately connect it to all the information about how fast it is, which direction it is going and if it will be a threat or not. This is happening in pictures, not words and our brain processes visual information very effectively .

Why drawing for yourself?

Drawing for yourself is a great way to create ideas and improve your memory. Most of us learn quicker if we visualise the content to be learnt. When recalling the information a picture comes up in your memory more easily than words.

Drawing also helps us to be creative. As my daughter said when asked why she would draw: “My brain creates new ideas”. That is absolutely right, drawing helps us to focus our mind and create new ideas. Or why do you doodle on the phone?

Why drawing with others?

Drawing for your team is the next step. Brain science shows that about 25% of humans work mainly verbally. Another 30% work mainly visually and about 45% work best with both, words and pictures. So if you are addressing an audience you will only be able to reach 100% with a combination of words and pictures.

You don’t need to be an artist

Why start drawing today and become a visual facilitator yourself

It is not about impressing the team with artistic masterpieces. Everyone can learn to communicate by drawing, there is no artistic talent required. It is about simple drawings that you use to explain what you mean.

Having to solve a problem? Drawing in meetings will start a conversation quicker. In the same way as if you draw for yourself, you will create new ideas easily and you will identify more and more solutions. Having conflicts in a group? Draw the attention to the whiteboard and away from each other.

Become a visual leader

Why start drawing today and become a visual facilitator yourself

You become a leader of the conversation with a white board marker. It brings a lot of focus and clarity into the discussion and helps to understand different points of view. The number of Aha! moments rises, people are much more engaged and it makes meetings much shorter and more effective.

If you have a complex problem to solve, I say you can probably save half of your meeting time just by drawing together. Take a photo of the whiteboard and every participant will be able to recall the meeting at one glance afterwards.

In summary:

Meetings are effective, short and fun again!
  • • You remember more and create new ideas easily
  • • You reach your audience better
  • • You solve conflicts by speaking towards the whiteboard
  • • You create clarity and focus in your next meeting
  • • You become a visual leader
  • • Meetings are shorter, effective and fun again

You can’t draw or think that you can’t facilitate a meeting on a whiteboard yet? I would like to invite you to come to my next bikablo® visual facilitation training and learn the simple drawing technique that so far more than 1000 people world wide have learnt.


Eventbrite - Visual Facilitation Training (Fundamentals & Practitioner Day)