Teamwork: Mapping Collaborative Minds

Mind Mapping

Have you discovered mind mapping strategies yet? Strategy mind mapping can strengthen community development and can also increase the organization’s efforts to strategize decision-making, resource allocation, and strategic planning functions.

Mind mapping can be used for many purposes: strategic planning; event planning; and it is a great learning tool.

Beyond business, it lets you see the big picture of how you can strategize game plans, family occasions, helping others, and so much more.

“Strategy mind mapping is a distinctive tool that enables an organization to benefit from new perspectives”.

A Whole New Mind

In today’s world, busy professionals need an easy way to communicate and collaborate with tools that easily conform to diverse teams. With today’s workforce composed of heterogeneous teams, people with diverse backgrounds need ways to get a shared mind-space so that  effective solutions can be enacted.

What is needed is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brains  of everyone involved. Strategy mind mapping is a distinctive tool that enables an organization to benefit from new perspectives. New perspectives are formed by using the diverse and creative knowledge of the team.

Seeing More

Using this distinctive tool to your advantage will allow you to see the possibilities of processes evolve from the beginning phases through to the first stages of implementation and beyond. Effective organizations need this level of simplification to accomplish the complex goals that they are facing today.

So what is mind mapping?

A mind map is a creative and innovative process of visualizing thought processes by means of rearranging ideas through their interconnected relationships.  The mind map starts with a central thought process and builds from there. The main themes are characterized by thick lines and are connected to the central idea.

Thinner lines, like roots, sprout off the main themes and are represented by thin lines, creating relationships and structure.

“Mind mapping is a creative strategy and expression of divergent thinking”.

Seeing Color

Using colors for illustration purposes stimulates brain wave activity and holds the attention of those creating the mind map and those receiving data from the mind map.

When implementing the use of strategy mind mapping, be sure to give your team(s) permission to be creative, artistic, colorful, imaginative, dimensional, and to have fun.  This will allow for divergent thinking to emerge, generating creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions.

“It is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlocking the potential of the brain”.

Characteristics of a Mind Map

The Mind Map has four essential characteristics.

  1. The first characteristic is the subject of attention crystallized in a central image.
  2. Second, main themes of the subject are spread out from the central image on branches.
  3. Third, branches hold a key image or word printed on the associated line, with details radiating out.
  4. Fourth, the branches form a connected nodal structure.

Elements to a Successful Mind Mapping Session

Four key elements to a successful mind mapping session are to first use outcome-based thinking.

Outcome based thinking will provide a deeper meaning of identification, evaluation, related consequences, and risks associated with what you hope to accomplish.

Next, plan; the more you plan the better you will be prepared for questions.

Then, when it’s time to start the mind map, choose someone to be the timekeeper.

The timekeeper will have two responsibilities, one is to keep time so as not to over extend the session, and the second is to choose someone from the group to present final thoughts to the audience.

“The Big Picture is visualized when the group member(s) present the findings of the strategy mind map”.

You will want to explain that the mind mapping session will only be so many minutes, usually 20 – 45 minutes long. This is just to get the juices flowing on the idea and designed for quick strategy thinking. Explain that there is no right or wrong ideas.

Finally, present findings to the group.

Seeing the Big Picture

The Big Picture is visualized when the group member(s) present the findings of the strategy mind map.

After the data from the strategy mind map is analyzed, you should have a clear idea of how to proceed with your project. Some ideas will be revealed in the mind mapping session, others you may have to investigate further.

The ideas that follow are few; there are many more you may discover as your strategy of mind mapping transpires.

You will know if you have one or more of the following ideas:

  • A shared vision
  • Member buy-in of idea
  • Further questions that need to be addressed
  • Change of focus
  • Or scrap the idea and start over…

So, how could your organization benefit from using the collective mind power of your talented team members? how would you go about capitalizing on all of that collaborative power? How could you use strategy mind mapping? Would using mind mapping in your professional or personal life benefit your future outcomes? How will you encourage others to use strategy mind mapping? I would love to hear your comments!

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Debra Olejownik is a partner with DJC Core Consulting & Support Services, LLC
She uses mind mapping to help clients navigate change & guide them to solutions
Email | LinkedIn | Web 

Image Sources:  illumine.co.uk

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