Overview – Jigsaw Puzzle

Jigsaw puzzles are a composite of oddly shaped, interlocking pieces of cardboard. Each piece of a jigsaw puzzle has part of a complete picture on it. When all the parts are put together in the correct arrangement, they form a whole image.

As a communication tactic within organisations, jigsaw puzzles can present a combination of images and words to show how multiple elements interconnect to form the ‘big picture’ perspective. For example, how each of the organisation’s values fit together to form the desired culture, or how a merger of two organisations creates a whole new synergy. Completing jigsaw puzzles can be an informative and interactive exercise at conferences or team off-sites. Completed puzzles can be attached to an adhesive backing for display as artworks.

Grey TickThis tactic is useful for:


Showing how individual elements fit together to create the ‘big picture’ perspective of the organisation.
 Demonstrating the connections between parts of an organisational system or links in a causal chain. For example, showing the links between back-office and front-office functions and the customer; or between functional support and operational units.

cloudyThings to consider:


Determine the purpose of your jigsaw puzzle. Is it to show how multiple parts fit together to create the ‘big picture’? For example, how the organisation’s vision, values, mission and strategy provide the big-picture context within which it operates. Or is to show the links between causal elements? For example, the links between elements in the organisation’s Service-Profit Chain.
Use imagery and text to depict your message. Or create a jigsaw puzzle from your visual metaphor map.
Source a jigsaw puzzle manufacturer.
Use the jigsaw puzzle in a variety of ways, including the following:
– Teambuilding exercise at conferences or off-sites.
– Learning activity during induction programs.
– Give pieces of the jigsaw puzzle to each member of a new team or department and get them to work together to complete the ‘big picture’.

Tone BulbHelpful tip:


Use the jigsaw-puzzle concept in PowerPoint slides to show the context or linkages of your topic. For example, each component of the Human Resources management system can be depicted as a jigsaw-puzzle piece. When interlocked, each component visually forms part of a cohesive and comprehensive people-management program.
Category: Print