News and thoughts from CS Odessa, maker of the ConceptDraw product line: ConceptDraw PRO, ConceptDraw PROJECT and ConceptDraw MINDMAP.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Biggerplate Continued: John Barber on Expanding the Mind Mapping User Base

(Please refer to The Mindmap Blog's "Mindmapping Thought Leaders Share Best Practices in London" for each speaker's video.)

John Barber brings to the table the freshness and enthusiasm of someone new to mind mapping--"new" being relative to the decades many in the audience have been mapping. He explained how he, like so many mind mapping practitioners, began using this approach when he saw one of his coworkers in a previous job using mapping to take notes.

Image from Betterment.

Gently passed from one individual to another
When John asked the guy why he'd never shared the methodology with others, the coworkers said that it was his own little way of doing things. Once John understood how his colleague was using mapping to organize work, John quickly saw how much mapping helped not only his coworker but the entire team--and began using it himself.

Image from The Telegraph.

A Compleate Historie of the Moderne Worlde
Just to put mapping technology into context, John then embarked on an annotated history of information technology, spanning the distances between ARPANET, Apple, email, instant messaging, and micro-blogging. He then made a very nice transition into how these tools supported or failed what then became the thrust of the rest of his presentaion: Collaboration.

Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing?
Has enterprise collaboration lived up to its hype, he asked. Then he offered two data points: People on average spend about 70% of the work week in some kind of collaboration, and only 3% of companies derive any benefit from social technology.

That leads to the obvious conclusion that there is something missing in how we are all collaborating. And that something, he posits, may well be the lack of visualization in how we collaborate.

Image from PPC for Hire.

The search for mind mapping's sweet spot
But what or where is the need, and how do we know it's there? John described how Mindjet has commissioned research to figure out what C-level business people are interested in these days. The hot trend is, according to Mindjet's experts, is "organizational efficiency."

Okay, that seems like something mapping could help with. But how. John notes that more research reveals that half of all employees "care passionately about their company's goal" but lack either the knowledge or the will to actually do things differently to help reach those goals.

Image from HubPages.

Tick Tock
Perhaps, John concludes, visualization is the "secret sauce" that, when added to collaboration and messaging/social technology, can turn the Stone Soup of good intentions into something savory. Is it just a matter of time, he asks, until this trend takes hold? He laments that mind mapping has been around for more than 40 years and we aren't there yet.

But with additional education and increased awareness (thanks to sites such as Biggerplate), John is confident that mind mapping may yet be swept into the mainstream.

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