Friday, 21 January 2011

Inspiring Success with MindGenius

Product Development Executive
Gael and MindGenius Ltd
Hi there.

Having worked at a senior level in business for over 20 years now, where mapping has featured prominently in helping me to succeed, I am going to be writing a series of articles to share my experiences and knowledge with you and hopefully inspire you to get the most out of MindGenius.

I would also like to encourage you to share your own experiences, and if there are any particular subjects you would like me to consider covering, please get in touch.

As the Product Development Executive, my primary role is to research, analyse, record and communicate how people work in different business sectors and identify the obstacles and challenges that they face so that we can develop appropriate software solutions to sell to them. I also support the senior management team in the delivery of specific improvement initiatives.

I am a doer, not a theorist. I have to deliver tangible results and break new ground. Stepping into the unknown is the exciting part of my job. I use MindGenius on a daily basis as it provides me with a creative, effective and versatile way of working. I couldn’t do my work as effectively without it. If you were to take MindGenius away from me, you would see a grown man cry – not a pretty sight.

Also, I’m not a purist. Although I have been a Buzan Licensed Instructor and have worked with Tony Buzan, I will not be discussing the ‘theory’ of mind mapping. I use what is appropriate for the task and its target audience. MindGenius and mapping support the performance of a task. The task and its outcome is what is important, not the intricacies of the tools/methodologies used.

So I will be sharing with you how I perform tasks using MindGenius. I hope this will give you an insight into how you could use MindGenius to your advantage. It may even inspire you to think of different ways to use MindGenius to achieve your goals, whatever they may be. There will also be an opportunity for you to ‘Ask Gordon’ about any query you may have as a result.

My background is electronic engineering. I started working life designing aircraft radar systems then onto cheque encoding machines for the worldwide banking sector. My career progressed into senior management (development & support). I then worked in a Total Quality Management programme in the nuclear industry before joining Gael and MindGenius 11 years ago. As well as my tasks as Product Development Executive, I have had the opportunity to work in Marketing, Sales, Training and Consultancy as well as being an external University lecturer and a Lead Assessor (10 years) for the Scottish Business Excellence Award (EFQM based)

The nature of the activities that I do are varied, e.g. researching, analysing, presenting findings, writing training material, delivering training, consulting, auditing. I need to be versatile and so do the tools and methodologies that I use. That’s why MindGenius has proven to be such a valuable application. Its use can be adapted to a wide variety of tasks. Also, its ability to stir the creative juices is invaluable. One application, many uses, many benefits. That’s what I hope to share with you.

The ‘mapping’ journey started many years ago when I first came across Tony Buzan’s mindmapping technique. I could see the benefits, but felt it was more suited to memory retention (my personal view) than as a medium for performing business tasks.

My organisation was not ready for me to be seen doodling with coloured pens, and the output was not in a form that would be viewed as suitable for business communications.

So I resorted to drawing ‘spider’ diagrams and basically used them for my own purposes. Another problem was that they were paper based so it was difficult to rearrange them without starting again from scratch. A short term solution I used was to create them using lines and text in MS PowerPoint™. Time consuming, but it still gave me some benefits.

Fig. 1 Hand Drawn Spider Diagrams
Please click on image for full screen view 

Fig. 2 MS PowerPoint™version
Please click on image for full screen view

Back in 2000, at Gael, the Directors wondered what I was doing. However, it got them thinking. To cut a long story short, MindGenius was born and I got my favourite and most productive software application.

So to re-iterate, I will be writing a series of articles to share my knowledge and hopefully give you a bit of inspiration on how you can use MindGenius to help you succeed in business. They will not be step-by-step descriptions of how to use a specific function within MindGenius. The articles will concentrate more on the nature of the task to be performed and how MindGenius can help you perform them. You will also have the opportunity to raise queries about the areas discussed.

I look forward to sharing my MindGenius experiences with you and I hope it will be an interesting learning and sharing experience for you. I certainly expect it will be for me.


PS This article was developed using MindGenius.
Fig. 3 First Article
Please click on image for full screen view

Fig. 4 Article Introduction
Please click on image for full screen view

I was faced with the ’dreaded’ blank canvas. First I mapped out in MindGenius some key areas that I felt needed to be included in the article.

Then I simply let the ideas flow and captured them as they occurred. Each entry entered seemed to generate other ideas/avenues of thought.
MindGenius allowed me to quickly and easily drag and drop these thoughts into appropriate parent/ child relationships. I was also able to drag the branches to form a meaningful flow to the article.

What I ended up with was an article which was different from what I first envisaged (e.g. combine an introduction article, the main deliverable, with a brief description on how it was developed using MindGenius

I think it resulted in a better article. That's the beauty of MindGenius.


HAP said...

Thank you. I think your insight is just what I need to use MG in a productive way.
Dan Donoghue in Buffalo, New York

MindGenius said...

Thanks Dan, glad to hear Gordon's articles will be useful for you and remember, if there's anything you would like Gordon to consider covering, get in touch with us here.

Wallace Tait said...

As an original Ygnius user when developed by Gael; I was quite astonished at the versatility of computer based Mind mapping. MindGenius is a product that should be leading the field, as it’s very clear this product has been around as long as the proclaimed leader within the Visual mapping arena.

As a Visual mapping consultant who uses many products, I invariably return to using MG. It must be true; the first product one ever uses is the one they shall feel more comfortable using.

The power of MG lies within the Map Explorer; many other benchmarks have tried to clone this function, and have done a poor job of it.

I have used MindGenius within Personal productivity, Academic enhancement and Business development arenas. MindGenius isn’t just about mere Mind mapping, it is responsible for taking many information managers into the powerful arena of graphical Knowledge management.

The template and questions approach to the latest edition of MG have been an eye opener to many of my clients. The arenas of use I would like to see written @ about are:

Six Sigma, Business Intelligence, Process handling, Personal Knowledge management and systematic thinking. The process approach to Visual mapping lends itself very effectively to Knowledge and systems thinking.

There’s much to be excited about MindGenius and further developments. Cloud mapping seems to be the next gen approach to taking Visual mapping into the SaaS arena, and I look forward with expectation as to the direction MindGenius shall take.

A multiple format tool that enable graphical thinking with ease.

Gordon said...

Hi Wallace,

Good to hear from you again. Glad to see your enthusiasm for MindGenius over the years hasn't waned, and if anything, it has increased.

Your mention of Ygnius brought back great memories of an exciting time launching the forefather of MindGenius.

You’ve suggested some good and meaty subjects and I hope to address major activities involved in performing such activities, if not the specific subject itself. Whilst these ‘methodologies’ all appear different, they do have many things in common when you seek to apply them in a practical way. It's all about having a tool chest and having the correct tool to hand when needed. I hope to share my MindGenius tool chest in this forthcoming series of articles and, as you rightly pointed out, the Explorer feature in MindGenius is definitely one of them.

Wallace Tait said...

Thanks Gordon,
MG has a little ground to gain though on the other benchmarks within the Mind-Visual-Knowledge mapping arena.

While cloud computing may be a new avenue to pursue; it's clear embedding attachments has been missed by MG. Embedding is a pre-cursor to the data base function of cloud accounts.

The data load in the cloud is what defines the collaborative aspect of data sharing, and if a user attaches a document or any other attachment to the Visual mapping framework in the cloud, the attachment is embedded rather than an associative link.

Anyways; I'm sure you know what I am blabbing on about. I am very happy with the current iteration of MG, yet I see much for opportunities for great improvement.

My head is in the cloud at this time; the SaaS cloud, and it's a very monetized cloud with much opportunities for a larger piece of the Visual mapping/information management pie.

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