Lisa Rothstein is the Chief Creative Officer of Drawing Out Your Genius, a visual note-taking company that helps translate complex concepts into images. Rothstein is also a cartoonist who has had recent comics published in The New Yorker. We spoke with Lisa as part of our IL Member Spotlight series, which profiles members of the Innovation Leader network.  

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Lisa Rothstein, Chief Creative Officer of Drawing Out Your Genius

What is the mission of Drawing Out Your Genius? 

There’s always the visual note taking skills that I bring to the table. But I also like to train other people to hone in their own visual thinking skills. It’s one thing if I [take visual notes] for you, and in that it helps make things more memorable, more engaging, especially when we’re doing remote meetings… However, it’s really rewarding for me to be able to transfer the skill of visual thinking, doodling, drawing. … I prove to people within an hour…that they actually can draw very simple images that convey a ton of meaning. That makes it much easier for people to communicate with each other.

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Rothstein’s visual notes from a round table hosted by the Center for Automotive Diversity, Inclusion, and Advancement. 

What’s a recent success or recent achievement you’d want to spotlight?

I’ve given this talk about Drawing Out Your Genius at the Adobe 99U Conference, at the Back End of Innovation conference (video), at Merck Pharmaceuticals last year… 

I do a lot of hand-drawn infographics and cartoons for companies, especially tech companies. Cybersecurity has turned out to be a big area of focus for me. …  And I’m very proud of the way that the drawings that I do for them help summarize a lot of very technical information… I [also] had some cartoons in The New Yorker over the past couple of years, which is a bucket list accomplishment for any cartoonists. 

Are there resources that you would like to share with our community?

There is a book called Visual Thinking by Willemien Brand… I love the The Design Thinking Toolbox and The Design Thinking Playbook. … And I’m doing some work with…The Drawing Board. They have a workshop called “How to Think like a New Yorker Cartoonist.”

Is there a piece of advice or learning that it would help other innovators to know? 

When we were putting together all our different sensibilities, especially when we have a more diverse team, that’s where the magic really happens in terms of ideation. … [Also being] able to tell the story of what you do, in a way that gets people excited about it… I think people need to focus a lot on communicating their ideas, not just coming up with them.