Why Visual Metaphors at Work®?
We at Visual Metaphors at Work® have had long international business careers working in companies from multinationals to start-ups.
We have worked in teams and been responsible for teams.
We believe that the majority of people go to work wanting to contribute the best of their knowledge and experience, but a multitude of factors makes this difficult and sometimes impossible.
Our Lephorus® masterclasses give facilitators and coaches a method and set of tools to help teams and their managers find clarity and mutual understanding of their goals and how best to reach them together.
- Allows individuals to articulate and explore feelings, thoughts & ideas that are difficult to describe, through choosing images from carefully designed image sets that ‘look like’ aspects of their issue, project or activity.
- Makes everybody’s voice heard. When an individual has chosen an image in response to a question, their colleagues ‘lean in’ and want to see which image has been selected and then to hear how their colleague describes that image. Introverts and people with different first languages are relieved that they have space and time to explore and explain their thoughts.
- Enables teams to debate and process feelings in a non-confrontational way: the discussion is about the image, not the person or the situation, which makes it possible to name the elephant in the room and explore its implications. Assumptions are addressed and insights shared.
- Leads to agreed actions & delegated authority: the chosen images are laid out together as a metaphor chart representing the entire project or activity, including values and ‘hunches’. Usually, a metaphor is built for where the team is today and another for the completed project or the activity when running at its best. The team then identifies and explores several possible routes from ‘here’ to ‘there’. Actions and ‘who does what’ is easily agreed. This metaphor map is regularly revisited and the end metaphor as well as the possible routes towards it are adapted and changed according to experience and learning.
- Is intriguing, engaging and fun: at the beginning there is usually banter and laughter, which is then rapidly followed by deep thinking and discussions.
Lephorus® is often used at the beginning of an initiative or a project and the metaphor chart built is then used throughout the initiative for guidance and to avoid derailment.
Visual Metaphors at Work® and Lephorus® developed from, and uses, the pioneering Totemics® work of Professor Angela Dumas at London Business School and the Judge Institute Cambridge on the use of images and objects to reveal tacit knowledge and promote deeper communication in teams.
Lephorus® has successfully been used since 2012 working with both individuals and teams to address complex work issues in Europe, the USA and the Middle East. Since 2016, we have developed a way of using Lephorus® online.
We are now able to share our experiences in using visual metaphors with other facilitators and coaches so that you can add to your toolset.
Meet The Team
Dr. Kerstin Potter
My experience stems from over thirty years of working in both private and public sectors in pharmaceuticals, food, high technology, professional services and higher education across Europe, the USA and the Middle East. I have extensive knowledge and experience of executive development in major corporations, having led the executive development program at a top business school.
I hold a BSc (Diploma) in Chemistry from Lausanne University, Switzerland and a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Cambridge University, UK. I attended the Advanced Management Program (AMP) at the Wharton School of Business, USA, in 2001. I am a certified executive coach from HEC, Paris, France, 2007 - 08.
I volunteer as a mentor on the Get Mentor programme in Sweden and I am a member of the Editorial Board of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council’s (EMCC) Journal.
Member of the Advisory Board
CMO, Censinet, Boston MA, USA
Award-winning, customer-driven business leader. Entrepreneurial executive with deep technology, services, and media expertise across sales, marketing, business development, and product. Proven track record of incorporating technical acumen and business analytics with innovative marketing and disciplined sales management to continually deliver record revenue and significant market recognition. Corporate evangelist and business leader who successfully combines data-driven insights with storytelling to foster product innovation and capture market share.
Rob has an MBA from Boston University, an MS in Computer Engineering, and a BS in Computer Science from UMass Lowell. He has two patents in information transmission and data visualization. Rob also edited and wrote multiple books on digital marketing.
Member of the Advisory Board
President, «Integrative Development», Meilen, Zurich, Switzerland
Thirty years practice in the domain of «people and work». Leadership coach, leadership development in transitions with a focus on executive coaching, career development, action learning, leadership in charge in profit and not-for-profit organizations.
Guest Lecturer Intercultural Management Universities Weingarten, Germany and Tartu, Estonia.
EMCC Global: Member of the Executive Board (Quality in Coaching). Master Coach Practitioner, accredited since 2011. Honorary President EMCC Switzerland.
Studies in Business at the University of St. Gall & Economics at Zurich University, Switzerland. MSc in Mentoring & Coaching, Sheffield Hallam University, UK.
Head of Content and Digital
With a background in archeology, I moved on to use my interest in society and in languages as a teacher of ‘English as a Foreign Language’ in China, Italy and online worldwide. I am fluent in English, near fluent in French and German, and I am currently learning Swedish. I have always been interested in how people from different backgrounds and cultures can work together and better understand each other. In addition, I act as a trouble shooter in all things digital.
I studied archeology at Sheffield University, UK, and participated in the Erasmus Program at Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic. I completed a teacher training course at Saxoncourt Teacher Training in London before teaching at Lishui High School, Zhejiang Province, China.