Graphic thinking

I am learning a lot from my colleagues at the citizen group I have joined.

Our meetings of late (during which I have been mostly silent, still soaking up everything) have been extensive. I have written about the project -- Citizen Participatory Audit -- in my column. A number of articles are also due for publication in the Web site that's currently being tweaked.

In those meetings where ideas and processes and courses of action are key, I have been amazed at how a number of individuals just stand up and grab a whiteboard marker, expressing the flow of the conversation through boxes and arrows and circles and labels.

I used to think I was a "table" person, plotting important things like meals and personal plans in rows and columns so I can feel I can grasp all of them in my head.

Seeing my new colleagues try to capture ideas into figures, and making one thought relate to other figures giving a picture bigger than I ever realized is, I have to admit, new to me. I see the wisdom in seeing where everything fits so that even the smallest detail has its place in the grand scheme of things.

Perhaps this is the way development people work and think. Sure, I have mastered some manners of doing things. But there is so much more I have -- want -- to learn.