A thoughtful article in Wired, Oct. 2010 at 66, praises drawing pictures (or exploiting other forms of visualization) to convey complex ideas – exactly the sort that in-house counsel often deal with when multiple considerations bear on a takeover, a tax restructuring, a licensing decision, or an investment in software. Narrative text and linear lists of considerations falter; if you want everyone to see all the moving parts and have the same mental model of their connections, do it with a picture.
Since my last metaposts on visualization tools, I have accumulated several more posts (See my post of Sept. 28, 2008: lawyers are less comfortable with images than with words; Jan. 15, 2009: box-and-whisker plots; March 1, 2009: cartograms; March 20, 2009 #1: Tableau data visualization software; March 26, 2009: offshore data analytics; July 10, 2009: plotlines add much more to timelines; Feb. 10, 2010: business intelligence, data mining, portals draw on data portrayal; and June 29, 2010: Codean software for cross references.).
Verbal ability and written precision seem to most lawyers the tools of success, but an ability to rollout a visual summary of a situation can help greatly See my post of May 15, 2009: idea relationship software with 6 references; May 7, 2008: methods to portray data with 9 references; 22 cited in one; and May 19, 2009: dashboards with 6 references.).