What does a full stack developer have in common with a sales or marketing executive? Oftentimes, half-jokingly but with a serious undertone, that answer could be close to “nothing”. Recent years have shown, however, that the many divides of the business landscape across verticals and disciplines are indeed being bridged. The silos are coming down. In 2017 alone, we have seen marketing and product teams collaborating more than ever, company leadership embedding itself within their sales teams, and business are no longer relying on lengthy pitch decks or long form sales letters which were once all too common.
So, what is happening? What is causing this amalgamation of the business landscape? How are leaders communicating effectively whilst maintaining innovation? What does this mean for company leadership and how can a savvy marketer or sales executive capitalize?
The core fundamental that is transpiring is the rapid access and sharing of new ideas. Where do new ideas get legs? The Whiteboard. However, as bloggers have pointed out , the whiteboard-centric brainstorm session of the past is dying out and giving way to a new digital era of “whiteboarding”, a digital whiteboard.
The digital whiteboard comes in many manifestations. It can be a high tech $5,000+ device that shares brushstrokes across the world, it could be a software that translates words into images, or it can be a bolt-on to your webinar session that serves the same purpose as it’s brick and mortar predecessor. There are many choices out there but the point is clear: business is done on the whiteboard!
“Why might this be?”
There are a number of reasons the whiteboard has become a de-facto medium for conveying complex ideas. We could get into neuroscience, behavioral psychology, or semiotics if time and word count allowed. We could also look at more anecdotal references like the popularity of Mr. Bob Ross’ teaching “The Joy of Painting” or Mark Kistler’s “Imagination Station” for those in different generations. Ultimately, however, I argue it is less important to look at why, but rather HOW this medium has remained present in the business landscape despite the shift from brick-and-mortar to cloud-based.
“Ok, so How has it happened?”
The creation of high-end whiteboards which use the cloud to display ideas across the globe in real time indicates the need, importance, and utter dependence the businessperson has on this medium. There are more phenomena at stake however, and that is why I believe that the future of the whiteboard is even brighter than it’s past.
“What’s in it for me?”
Of course, one asks, how can business leaders take advantage of this hallmark of innovation and really drive results in 2018? The answer is simple: SPEND MORE TIME THINKING AROUND THE WHITEBOARD! Ditch the powerpoint and dust off your dry erase pens! Have a breakout session using only dry erase. Get a whiteboard video made for your next product offering. Try a whiteboard software to share your next story on social media. Use an interactive whiteboard in your next sales or marketing webinar. There are countless ways to take advantage of this innately captivating and innovative medium, and there are countless more ways for it to catalyze success than I have listed here.
So comment below if you have seen success out of an otherwise blasé business meeting or consultation by thinking on a whiteboard. Maybe your whiteboard video catapulted your last product launch into a hockey stick of success. Or perhaps this article has inspired you to change your thinking outside the box and onto the whiteboard for your next sales presentation or team meeting.
Thanks to the rise of all aforementioned technologies, and the continued prevalence of cloud based video tools, collaboration, and whiteboard-based technologies, I predict 2018 will see more adept use of this medium than ever before. The question will not be “should we use a whiteboard?” instead it will be “have you seen the whiteboard?”!