How illustration helped us to uncover the intangible “magic” of asset based working

The core principle of asset-based working is that everyone has strengths, gifts or assets. This should be as a starting point for service delivery, community development and/or organisational development. Asset-based approaches are often contrasted with ‘deficit-based’ work which focuses on needs and problems rather than strengths
Last year we worked with Paul Hamlyn Foundation to help them and their funded organisations to understand more about what asset-based working looks like in practice.
To bring our research to life, we worked with artist Hazel Mead to share the magic ingredients of asset-based working in youth settings.
We found that the process of taking our research and presenting it as illustration, helped us with the analysis process – it helped us to narrow down the most crucial elements of asset-based working. The process helped us take the often “intangible” magic ingredients of asset-based working – something that our research participants often do instinctively – and make them more tangible, easy to understand and visualise.
We love the illustration of the person who has fallen over on their roller skates as an image of “leader”. Do you have a favourite in the illustration below?

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