Tuesday, 18 March 2014

“Mind Mapping …for business...are you serious?”

Time and time again we get asked and challenged on an age-old issue of whether or not mind mapping is , at worst, just another fad, a ”nice to have” or, at best, a real value-adding benefit that has a serious place within a business or organisation.

Since the launch of MindGenius many years ago, we have been privileged to have hundreds of thousands of customers investing in MindGenius for a variety of reasons…

  • exponents of the original mind mapping technique as an aid to capturing, visualizing ideas and knowledge to aid understanding, retention and recall
  • people in the area of education (educators, teachers, students, etc.) looking for software to help them consolidate the above technique in a teaching / learning environment
  • business people in wide and varied disciplines with a requirement for more efficient and visual ways of capturing information, knowledge and data to aid focus and clarity on moving from ideas to action quicker and more productively
  • senior managers, directors and business owners, with specific requirements around high-level strategic thinking, planning and “dashboard”-type approaches to capture, visualize, monitor and manage plans, priorities, objectives, projects, etc.
  • Project managers and others involved in project work requiring intuitive, visual and tracking methodologies and tools to make the planning, scheduling and monitor and control stage of managing projects more visible, collaborative and, of course, productive and efficient.

For me, one of the interesting outcomes of interacting with many of these customers is a realisation that mind mapping holds different meaning, pre-conception and, dare I say, misconceptions - particularly in the business world. 

Whilst mind mapping is generally recognised as a technique or a methodology to aid thinking and understanding (or variations on that theme) there is a “disconnect” between mind mapping as a basic concept and the actual application of a “way of working” that it most definitely has evolved into over recent years. 

Although admittedly improving, there is nevertheless a lack of appreciation throughout the business world that mind mapping has moved on dramatically and has admirably kept pace with this modern technology-savvy world – MindGenius as the perfect example of how we have actually built and dramatically improved a very valid and creative methodology and enabled it to be applied intuitively and easily in a whole plethora of personal, business and education environments.

The answer to how mind mapping can be applied and, more importantly, add value in business varies depending on the context, but is centred on some of the following business tenets:

Does lack of focus and clarity on some of the following get in the way of efficiency, productivity or performance?
  • Discussions at meetings or brainstorming sessions
  • Clear understanding of outcomes and requirements at planning meetings
  • Monitoring and managing tasks and activities in the most efficient way
  • Thinking things through thoroughly when planning strategies, objectives and projects
  • Planning, scheduling and managing projects better
  • Preparing documents, reports and presentations

In terms of addressing the business “value-add” question, the key issues emerging here are:
  • Do any of the above aspects of business performance apply to you?
  • Is there even the slightest opportunity or room for improvement in any aspect?
  • Could better focus and clarity improve performance in any aspect?
  • Are there others in your team, department or organisation to whom this could also apply?

To address the title of this document, I am seriously suggesting that business mind mapping software “has arrived” and does add real value in a business context – MindGenius has been specifically designed to meet business needs and this understanding comes across in every single functionality, all included to augment and improve common business processes, from gathering ideas to managing objectives, tasks and projects.

But, it’s not just about creating mind maps per-se, it’s about..
  • using a creative, engaging and visual methodology to think through, capture, visualise and structure knowledge, ideas, plans, projects, etc.; 
  • using the methodology to simplify and enable better prioritisation and decision-making;
  • quick and effortless output to documents, presentations, project plans/schedules and reports

…all of this resulting in savings of time and effort, improved productivity and increased focus and clarity at every stage. 
I suspect, there can’t be many individuals, teams or whole organisations who would not accept that there is real bottom-line value to be gained for improving performance in these key aspects of everyday work.

Do you need to put pre-conceptions, or even the slightest misconceptions, about mind mapping to one side?

Do you need to take a fresh look at mind mapping, in particular business mind mapping software? Even as a MindGenius user, are you getting the best out of MindGenius?

At MindGenius we have the experience and the expertise to show you how the leading business mind mapping software can help provide better focus and clarity on all the above aspects of business performance (and more!) and ergo increase productivity and efficiency across the board.

If you want to know how, or just want to find out more, simply contact your Account Manager, email us at info@mindgenius.com or visit www.mindgenius.com for all the information on MindGenius, its uses, applications and benefits.

Author Bio: Jamie MacDonald, Head of Client Development at MindGenius. Jamie is a highly experienced trainer, facilitator and coach with over 20 years’ experience in training, development, HRM and business improvement.


Wallace Tait said...

Nice article Jamie; and as mush as the sentiments and contents of your article have been expounded for many years now.

We still to date have an impasse regarding the full scale adoption of the tools, methods and mindset of Visual mapping in and through excellent products such as MindGenius.

I've personally used MindGenius since it was released, and to see the exponential product enhancements and improvements over that past couple of years in particular, is extremely pleasing.

The infusion of Visual mapping into the mainstream has always been problematic hasn't it? after over 40 years since Buzan formalized hand drawn techniques; the plethora of mind/visual mapping products have almost overwhelmed this arena. Maybe the Buzan connection has been the blessing and curse to competing developers.

Having said this though; I firmly believe MindGenius is one of the products that has stayed true to the values and voice of their user base.

The footprint MindGenius has within the EU is rather impressive, and MG competes well with all other offerings. The single most important characteristic of MG IMO is, the extremely polished and user friendly design of MG for use within the three main arenas of use.

Personal development, Academic enhancement and Business productivity are the force and strength of MindGenius.

The Business use of MindGenius is indeed a no brainer for forward thinking Knowledge managers of this portion of the 21st century. Business benefits using MG by adopting the software and future services into their mainstream of Visual information creation, management and sharing. The sharing portion may be the focus in your future, and I indeed hope the cloud is where MindGenius shines within the three arenas of use.

All the best.
Wallace Tait: Visual Mapper

Jamie MacDonald said...

Thanks Wallace for the thought-provoking response as well as the positive comments about MindGenius, its ethos, positioning, profile, benefits, etc - well said!
We will continue to ensure MindGenius is the leading business mind mapping software, primarily by keeping close to the views and needs of both our customer base and the overall mind mapping space (as well as, of course, remaining extremely visible and useful in the education/learning space). Thanks again.

Unknown said...

Hi I started MMapping though TMI in 1987. I then at my own cost went on their "Information Management" course for 5 days which was all Mind Mapping. Used it ever since and used Mindjet from its inception in 1995(?). I use Mindjet, Mindgenius and iMindmap as they all have their strengths depending on the task.

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