Drawing as a learning while working activity with Jeff Kortenbosch

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Episode summary

Today’s guest, Jeff Kortenbosch, focuses on internal mobility and skills-based talent management through up- and reskilling of teams and employees. He connects the dots between learning, recruitment, and organisational development. As an illustrator of digital explainer visuals, Jeff joins the show to share how drawing is a powerful mechanism for learning and learning design.. Tune in as we also explore publishing graphics on a daily basis, building sticky habits, and the power of running courses via email.

About Jeff Kortenbosch

Jeff is the author of the acclaimed book ‘20 Questions Learning and Development should ask before talking about training’, in which he advocates measurable performance and business outcomes and relevant solutions that go beyond training. He is also an illustrator of digital explainer visuals. Since he started visualising ideas, his work has been seen by millions of people online.


Key takeaways:

  • Drawing and producing graphics is a great way to learn. It has been a great creative outlet for Jeff as it has helped him visualise ideas through simple graphics – ranging from graphs to icons. Investing in courses has helped him develop some foundational skills in drawing. Jeff’s best advice is to be minimal with your design, and see what you can draw from quotes, thoughts or visual metaphors.
  • Sticking to a daily habit of drawing has helped Jeff develop his drawing style. He started off with a target of drawing for 100 days, and kept a notepad to hand for whenever he got inspiration. The daily habit ensured he wasn’t fixated on perfection but simplicity: “create fast and publish fast”. The key is to start small, whether this is through length of time to draw or finding a good time slot that you can stick to daily.
  • The power of visuals: as the adage goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words", so being able to harness your visual skills is powerful as a learning designer. From presentations to your own personal learning process, visual design is a powerful method. It can also give you a great reach online, as visuals help draw people into your blog posts, newsletters, courses, etc.
  • Drawing teaches you additional skills: Jeff found that by drawing regularly, he also learnt more about publishing, social media marketing, ideation and finding new ways to keep ideas flowing.

Segmented time stamps:

  • 02:44 Regularly publishing graphics
  • 06:17 Some of the most well-received graphics Jeff has designed
  • 07:32 How to stick to a daily habit
  • 09:48 Why drawing diagrams is a great way to learn
  • 14:22 Using drawing as a micro-learning strategy
  • 16:30 What to incorporate in a visual email marketing course
  • 19:16 How to build a regular habit of drawing

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