o A system to remember your presentation so you don’t have to read your notes
o A technique that helps you take a project, see the big picture, focus on the key areas and understand all the inter-connections
o A means of making note taking from journals, books, e-articles, quicker, more logical, better organised
o A method for brainstorming that presents ideas logically structured
o An approach to time management, enabling you to focus on your priorities, make efficiencies
How would you like to spend just 10 minutes learning a new skill that will help you in all of the above areas?
In the last year, Mind Mapping has given me all of these rewards and truly revolutionised my approach to knowledge, learning and business. Read on for an introduction to using Mind Mapping in business.
So what an earth is a Mind Map?
Well this is a superb example of how valuable the art of Mind mapping actually is; words cannot adequately express the essence of a Mind Map. The best way to explain is to look at one. Click on the example at the end of the article. And for those who like the words as well as the graphics, I would describe a Mind Map as a ‘thinking tool’; ‘a diagram which places a key idea in the centre of a page and uses words, pictures and linking lines radiating outwards from the centre to present connecting ideas, knowledge and information’.
So how would you use a Mind Map in business? How long is a piece of string? I used a Mind Map to draft this article. It’s a very economical way of making notes. The focus is on key words and their connections, so I saved loads of time in just drafting the core concepts rather than using all these superfluous linking words which glue our sentences together (and turn them into a readable article!). You will also see from the example not only how it facilitates the organisation of words and ideas into a logical format but also how it can enhance the structure by allowing you to view the big picture along with all the detail. And as the key words act as triggers it also facilitates brainstorming as your triggers spawn multi-dimensional concepts. note organizer
That’s just a little taster of how valuable Mind Maps can be in business and I will come on to more uses shortly. But first a slight diversion to answer the question ‘why do we need a thinking tool at all?’
We all know that we have a left and a right brain. Left brain deals with logic, analysis, numbers, words, reason, order, sequence. Right brain is in the business of creativity, thinking in pictures, patterns, colours, and uses intuition. Fast forward to caricatures. Think left brain-dominant scientist, ‘brainy’, numerate, weak on the inter-personal side. Think right brained arty farty creative genius, the musician, poet, artist, never could get their Maths O’level.
Now I would never for one minute suggest that we are more likely to fall into either stereotype! But the chances are that we have over-developed the left hand side because we needed to, to pass exams and do business in our traditional western ways. But while we may well have a preference for over-using a particular side of the brain its more than likely due to conditioning and education than nature. The good news is that we have infinite scope to continue to develop the lazier side of the brain. And by doing this the sum of the whole can truly be greater than the individual parts. By using the right and left brain together we can unlock talents we never knew we had, solve problems creatively and generally go about our business in a more efficient and effective way than we ever thought possible.