Kapernikov uses the power of whiteboarding

Published on: December 19, 2017

We are so tied to our computer screens nowadays, that we almost forget that there’s a totally different, exciting analog world out there. So, the next time you are in a meeting, staring at some PowerPoint presentation, know that there are alternatives. At Kapernikov, we like to approach our meetings more dynamically, and with more creativity and freedom. And that’s when we use the whiteboard.

Whiteboards can be used to write or sketch on during meeting discussions or even when you’re alone trying to structure your thoughts. Since whiteboarding relies on a visual way of thinking, it has the advantage that it makes our thoughts more appealing and easier to absorb.

Whiteboard fans 

“Many of us at Kapernikov are true whiteboard fans,” says Jan Frederik Léger, partner at Kapernikov. “The ones who frequently use whiteboards are all fairly energetic people. So, getting away from our PC screens and putting our thoughts onto the blank space feels quite natural.”

A PowerPoint does not really invite the attendees to join the discussion, the way a whiteboard does.

Kapernikov is certainly not the only company who acknowledges the benefits of whiteboarding. In today’s landscape offices, guarding the silence is critical. Random face-to-face meetings or even a quick exchange of ideas with your neighbor are frowned upon. So why then not retreat to a nearby meeting room for a quick whiteboard session?

Freedom and dynamics

“Whiteboarding is a more physical way of holding a meeting,” says Jan Frederik. “Just the physical act of walking around and drawing on the board makes the creative juices flow.” 

But one of the biggest advantages of whiteboarding probably is the freedom it provides. “When you’re watching a presentation, it feels like everything is already etched in stone. A PowerPoint does not really invite the attendees to join the discussion, the way a whiteboard does. Whiteboarding on the other hand stimulates everyone in the meeting to think along.”

Cold feet

Granted, standing in front of the whiteboard does not feel natural to everyone. A lot of people have presentation stress, so getting up from behind their laptops sometimes forces them to leave their comfort zone. But you don’t have to be a calligraphist or drawing artist to join a whiteboard discussion, nor is whiteboarding reserved for complex discussions. 

“In terms of practical application of whiteboarding: anything goes,” says Jan Frederik. “You can use keywords, diagrams, arrows or simple drawings where you see fit. Just the act of standing in front of the whiteboard, with or without colleagues, implicitly forces you to think about what you say. Drawing on a whiteboard automatically structures your thoughts.” 

Ready for some whiteboarding? 

Do you think whiteboarding is something for your team as well? Then here are some quick tips to promote a whiteboarding culture in your company: 

  1. Pay attention to your meeting room layout: Make sure the whiteboard is the central point of your meeting room, so people will be tempted to use it. And be sure to make it fully visible: for example, don’t put your projector screen in front of your whiteboard. 
  2. Go topless: When people bring their laptops to a meeting, they’re not really focused on the meeting. In other words: they’re not really present. So, leave the laptops where they belong: on the office desks.
  3. Hand out whiteboard markers to anyone who joins the meeting: See this gesture as an invitation to your meeting participants to actively and dynamically join the discussion. 
  4. Stay focused on your topic and write clearly: This probably goes for any meeting, but maybe even more so for a whiteboard meeting. There are really no rules for whiteboarding. You don’t have to be Leonardo da Vinci, as long you can make yourself clear. But use the whiteboard wisely and try to stay organized, so everyone is able to follow your thoughts. 
  5. Snap a picture afterwards: Before anyone has a chance to wipe away all of your work, use your smartphone to take a quick photo and email it to all of the attendees.

Good luck with all of your whiteboarding adventures!