(And once again, please refer to The Mindmap Blog's "Mindmapping Thought Leaders Share Best Practices in London" for each speaker's video.)
Jim Mather brings to the table a lot of experience getting people together to solve problems. Most recently, he was Scotland’s Enterprise, Energy and Tourism Minister within the Scottish Parliament in 2011.
I believe it was in that context that Jim used mind mapping to bring large groups of Scottish citizens together to make significant decisions about the future of their communities. (Jim's Biggerplate recording was cut short just as he was discussing this initiative.)
Drivers of the opportunity for widespread use of mind mapping
The gist of Jim's presentation ("Mind Mapping & the Mainstream") was, essentially, that "everything's better with mind mapping." He began by listing the drivers behind expanded use of mind mapping:
- Availability of mind mapping software: It's no longer a secret among those in the know. It's increasingly becoming common knowledge.
- Awareness of the effectiveness of a range of things that mindmapping supports:
- Collaborative conversations
- Systems thinking
- Scenario planning
- Knowledge that success needs:
- Clarity of purpose.
- Sound operational methods.
- Hearts, minds, and intrinsic motivation.
Professor Ken Cloke's Ladder of Unity
Jim then took up on this last point, trust, by referring a Cloke's ladder of Unity. The relevance is that whenever a group of people are trying to do something together, it helps if they can "climb" this "ladder of unity." And Jim underscored the fact that mind mapping can help at every stage of this process.
The rungs in the ladder begin with:
- Opposition: This is the starting point, when the choice is to cooperate and move forward or to hold on to differences, opposite goals and agendas, mistrust. Once a group is able to climb past this stage, they can look for:
- A unifying worthy purpose: Something that will meet the overriding concerns of the entire group. Once they achieve that, they need:
- A Fair and Open Process: In order to achieve the ultimate goal--a plan of action arrived at through mutual trust, there must be a good process behind all activity. When there is, it naturally leads to...
- Relationships: As people work together and learn to like and trust each other. Out of this comes...
- Experience: The more people work together toward a unifying worthy purpose, following a fair and open process, then the more they experience the trust that leads to success, and the more they come to...
- Care about each other: And this is the key ingredient behind progress.
Names to Know
It always helpful to learn about people who are promoting the ideas upon which pro-mind mapping arguments can be made. Jim offers up a fine list.
The only person on the list I'm really familiar with is Dan Pink, who wrote "A Whole New Mind." The book talks about having symphony of mind will be a key to success in the future economy: Being able to take lots of different kinds of information and putting them all together in creative ways to solve new problems. Mind mapping is, of course, key to that. (I blogged about Pink a while ago.)
The other people on the list include:
- Victor Frankl
- Ove Arup
- W. Edward Demming
- Margaret Wheatley
- John Seddon
- Eli Goldratt
- Nancy Kline
The common thread among all these people, Jim says, is that mind mapping adds value to the real-world application of each of their thought systems.
Watch Jim's presentation
Jim had a lot more to say, including a case study about how he personally used mind mapping to help two Scottish communities align themselves as they planned for the future.
Jim has a lot to say based on a lot of lessons learned about using mind mapping in the real world. I encourage you to watch his presentation for yourselves. (Just don't be disappointed when the video ends abruptly.)