Paint the Picture for Your Business or Organization

In the book Business is ART, Plan Canvas founder Jon Umstead suggests you “paint the picture” for your business or organization. The painted picture expands upon the vision statement. It can be in the form of a brief, 3-page document, a presentation, or some form of actual art.

The following outlines a method for painting your business or organization’s picture in 8 steps: 

  1. Determine a List of Questions

In his book Double_Double, Cameron Herold provides a checklist to help you establish your Painted Picture. He suggests you imagine that you have traveled thru time, 3 years down the road. You are walking around the office with a clipboard, asking and answering questions like:

  • What do you see?
  • What do you hear?
  • What are clients saying?
  • What does the media write about you?
  • What kind of comments are your employees making at the water cooler?
  • What is the buzz about you in your community?
  • What is your marketing like? Are you marketing your goods/services globally now? Are you launching new online and TV ads?
  • How is the company running day to day? Is it organized and running like a clock? What kind of stuff do you do every day? Are you focused on strategy, teambuilding, customer relationships, etc.?
  • What do the company’s financials reveal?
  • How are you funded now?
  • How are your core values being realized among your employees?


You might add a few of your own, such as:

  • How do you give back to the community?
  • How do employees see their career paths?
  • What is their average tenure?
  • Whatever else is important to you and your vision


  1. Ask your employees and/or stakeholder

Now that you have your questions identified:

  • Answer them yourself
  • Ask your Board or Advisors to answer them
  • Facilitate a session with your employees to get their collective responses, or ask them each to answer on their own


  1. Consolidate responses
  • Create one answer for each question based on the responses you have received 


  1. Conduct final review with employees and/or stakeholders 
  1. Use the finalized answers as source material to write your 3 page Painted Picture document 
  1. Present to Board or Advisors for final approval/tweaks 
  1. Present to employees as a final document 
  1. Engage employees in developing a work(s) of art based on the document 
  • Website
  • Video
  • Presentation
  • Song
  • Framed pictures
  • Memes
  • Etc


Good luck painting your picture. We would love to see it.

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