Photo of Martin SykesMartin Sykes has spent 20 years working in IT organizations in the public and private sector, most of that time helping to make major change happen. In the last ten years he has focused on IT Strategy and Enterprise Architecture, developing analytical techniques and processes to support change, winning a Microsoft internal award for work on a framework for IT Strategy and Architecture planning. While developing the CAST process and Visual Story Map for corporate storytelling he has worked in organizations from a major pharmaceutical company to the Prison Service, on projects from citizen identity to new product development. He has personally seen the difference a Visual Story can make to gaining commitment and trained many people in the techniques.

Nick on Martin:

Martin is an amazing speaker and storyteller. Like anyone who has practiced his art, Martin makes storytelling look easy, but don’t fool yourself. He has worked harder to understand the underlying methods and mechanisms of communication than anyone I know. He’s a pretty good photographer as well, and this book has some of his photos scattered throughout. I consider myself both fortunate and blessed to know him and work with him on this grand effort.

Photo of Nick MalikA. Nicklas Malik is a leader in the Enterprise Architecture community, a role that is all about making change happen. Most people don’t understand the role of the Enterprise Architect, so when Nick met Martin and learned about his remarkable approach to storytelling, he realized the opportunity was right in front of him to leverage these ideas. Some of the Visual Stories Nick has developed have been used to build support for consistent governance, approaches to design, and plans for building a completely integrated approach to complex business problems. In addition to being a 32-year veteran of high-tech, Nick is an amateur actor and vocalist, and a full-time father to Maxwell, Andrew, and Katrina. He loves to take nature walks, breathe fresh air, read well-written stories, and hold hands with his sweetheart for the past 22 years, Marina.

Mark on Nick:

One of the things I love most about Nick is his laughter. It’s a real joy to know I am inspired to say whatever it takes to get a laugh—but even more inspiring to know I design for that same effect. Although this is sometimes a dangerous approach, I find his jovial attitude not only energizing—to this day I still don’t fully understand his role within Microsoft, but hopefully they know they’re lucky to have him!

Mark D. West M.A. has a background in art, design, music, education and training. He started working for Microsoft in 1997, executing graphic design and production solutions for MSN as an independent vendor. After many other contracts and companies he found himself working on presentation design and data visualization for the Enterprise Strategy team in 2010 where he ran into Martin. Mark has an M.A. in Whole Systems Design, and 10 years of experience directing art, teaching, advising, training and developing curriculum for design programs at five different colleges. He has been awarded Distinguished Educator of the Year at IADT Seattle, and appointed to the Professional Advisory Committee for the Art Institute of Seattle. Mark is also obsessed with ways to get on board with the latest charting rock band but if that doesn’t work out he’s going to solidify plans for illustrating a children’s book.

Martin on Mark:

Mark has a very understated and relaxed manner, which makes it all the more amazing when you see his design work and ability to teach others how to do it. He’s also able to inject humor and fun into the work to keep everyone interested, although sometimes it is a little quirky.