In 2006, Penny Pullan and Vanessa Randle met for the first time. They were both users of graphics and visual thinking in their work with groups, Penny mainly as a facilitator in the world of project management and Vanessa as a graphic recorder. Together they decided to do something for the benefit of many people around the world who were not yet aware of the power of graphics and visual thinking, typically facilitators, trainers and presenters, although spread across all sorts of roles and industries. To make a difference, they co-founded Graphics Made Easy in 2008 and started to run Graphics Made Easy starter workshops as open courses in the UK and for client organisations all over the world.
The Graphics Made Easy community now covers nearly 2000 people worldwide and includes trainers, project managers, business analysts, educators, teachers, process improvement specialists, coaches, training managers, knowledge managers, managers in general, students, consultants and many, many more. Industries that people have come from include: training companies, pharmaceutical multinationals, IT and high tech, universities, small consultancies, large consultancies, insurance companies, utilities, international charities,
Fast forward to 2014. With graphics much more widely used and accepted, Penny took over the leadership of Graphics Made Easy focusing on online developments and Vanessa refocused on her own consultancy and visual recording work at www.thinkingvisually.com.
Since then Penny has launched the Graphics Made Easy Online Programme for those who can’t travel to the UK or who would rather learn in the comfort of their own surroundings. The open Graphics Made Easy starter workshop runs each year in Nottingham and Penny runs unique in-house Graphics sessions for organisation too.
Penny spends a fair chunk of her time working with people in multinational companies who are grappling with tricky projects. Given that, you might be wondering why she’s involved in Graphics Made Easy? Well, tricky projects are, by their very nature, tricky. It takes far more than standard project management to get people interested and engaged with topics like risk or requirements! Have you tried keeping people engaged in remote meetings when they’d rather catching up with e-mail or even Facebook? It’s hard and almost impossible! So how does she do it? The answer is through visuals and using hand-drawn graphics. They are so powerful at engaging people that Penny uses them throughout her work, whether training, presenting or facilitating groups.
Penny is a Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF) of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) and holds a wide range of professional qualifications in project management, business analysis and even, would you guess, engineering! With a successful track record in consultancy, training and facilitation in blue chip multi-nationals over twenty years, she is now a director of Making Projects Work Ltd.
However, what really sets Penny apart is her passion and skill in using graphics to make meetings and projects come alive. Her flair for generating ideas, doing things differently and really getting people on-side is pure gold.
She uses graphics to engage groups in large corporate, government and charitable clients who are grappling with tricky projects, often virtual, usually risky and always complex. From starting a piece of work through to its completion Penny skillfully weaves in pictures, images and visual metaphors. People involved not only understand what’s going on, they really see what they mean!
Penny has clocked up more than twenty years’ experience as a trainer, facilitator and presenter.
Using graphics, she’s supported corporate, government and charity clients in the UK and abroad to engage people and communicate effectively with the support of graphics.
She’ll make sure you can do that too!
We hope that you are enjoying your graphics and we’d love to hear how you are getting on,