The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article about doodling in today's paper - yes, doodling. The article actually features how some firms have created workspaces with lots of whiteboards and chalkboards so people can display ideas visually. They also describe how some firms hire graphic facilitators to help teams display their ideas during brainstorming meetings.
I love the concept. I've worked with graphic facilitators on numerous occasions, and they really do help a team capture their ideas, and they help team members build on each others' ideas very effectively. If we want teams to be creative, then we need to recognize that capturing elements of the conversation visually can be critical. If we want people to learn from one another, then whiteboards and chalkboards can be very helpful. After all, consider a classroom without a chalkboard or whiteboard... could we learn as effectively in that environment. Finally, we have to remember that some people process information more effectively if data and concepts are visually displayed. Not everyone learns or thinks best if they are simply listening to conversation or looking at spreadsheets.