For over a year now I've been writing Ask Gordon articles and in that time we've covered a variety of subjects such as Problem Solving, Facilitation, Domain Research, Risk Management, Audit Preparation.
Then just last week, someone asked me an interesting question. What aspect of MindGenius do I value the most? It's a bit like being on Desert Island Discs and being asked which record would you select to go with you if you were to be a castaway on a desert island.
What would your answer be? My answer, which may surprise you, was not to pick any of the techniques that I have written about in previous Ask Gordon articles. Why? Because the key benefit that MindGenius gives me is the ability to quickly extract the thoughts hidden in my head and stimulate the generation of new ideas and insights. It provides me with clarity and understanding on the subject matter I am addressing.
I, like most people, find it difficult, if not impossible, to consciously focus on more than one line of thought at a time.
MindGenius gives me the ability to record my ideas and present them in a visible form. My brain feeds off of these stimuli and recognises linkages between them which spark insights and inspire new, creative paths to explore. Once they are recorded, MindGenius provides me with a host of features and capabilities to produce an effective end result. But that end result is only as good as the ideas that it is based on.
So the essential value that MindGenius provides me is the ability to quickly record and arrange my thoughts. It is the key stepping stone to everything that I do.
How does this work in practice?
When I have to do something, my normal approach is to create a new map with the subject as the core then start typing.
As I type, my map develops and the creative juices start. I'm often surprised by how much my understanding of the subject has developed, and often changed from the initial outset, in just doing this for 5 or 10 minutes.
MindGenius is non-intrusive and its simple method of recording does not interfere, or distract me from the thinking activity.
The map structure automatically builds as I type. You’d be surprised how much you actually know about certain subjects, particularly those relating to your areas of expertise. So you can end up with large maps. However, unlike with paper, MindGenius allows your map to expand in whatever direction you wish to take.
I never feel overwhelmed or overloaded by the large amount of information that I generate thanks to MindGenius. I can see the structure which provides me with a high level overview, letting me see the big picture.
If I see potential linkages, I can visually identify the inter-relationships. I record such linkages there and then because if I move onto another activity, that potentially valuable linkage is likely to be lost forever. It is often from such linkages that extremely valuable new insights are generated.
If there is an area that needs further development, or which poses an obstacle, then I mark it with a category. Later on I filter on the category to identify those areas in my map that I need to revisit.
In summary, MindGenius acts as a catalyst for my brain. It facilitates my thinking and helps me record it so it can then be developed into effective outcomes. It provides me with clarity of thought and allows me to manage large amounts of information effectively.
MindGenius is also particularly useful in teasing out the knowledge and experience of a group of people in such a manner that it is a positive learning experience for those involved as well as producing an invaluable record of what's been said.
So what do you think? How much value do you, or your organisation, place on ideas? What aspect of MindGenius do you value the most?
As ever, if you have any questions or queries, Ask Gordon.