The sum is greater than the parts – Mind Mapping

Last week we were invited to use the mind mapping technique. Therefore, I would like to bring some insight on the use of mind mapping. First of all, I will give a brief overview over the technique. Second, I will illustrate how we applied this technique and the beneficial overview (over our project) we gained from it.

Mind mapping is defined as a graphical technique for visualizing connections between several ideas or pieces of information (dictioniary). Generally, the user starts with a key word or idea which is in the centre of a hierarchal diagram, e.g. in a branch tree format (picture). From this centre the other ideas, words, tasks, etc. are developed and linked to the centre as well as between each other. The advanced user will use different colours, symbols or different dimensions to categorize the named topics. In the end, the applicant is free to include as many ideas as possible as long as the outcome is still a clear structure.

We used this technique for the first time last week. We started by putting the title of our blog in the middle of a board and surrounded it by the topics we have come across so far. After that, we have written the respective posts under these topics (scroll down for picture).

This helped us enormously to get an overview over our blog: The variety of topics we (surprisingly) have already written about, topics we predominantly have focused on and topics we should also include in our blog. Therefore, we decided to change the title because of the named variety and make it thereby more open minded. We also decided to further write in other areas than women leadership, e.g. the recent post of Katrin “Another dimension: Age” which talks about the demographic change and its implications for companies.

To sum up, mind mapping serves as a powerful tool to analyse and organize information which will help to assist project planning, solve a specific problem or make a sound decision.

9 Responses to “The sum is greater than the parts – Mind Mapping”
  1. Izzy says:

    That’s right Thob. I also found it very helpful to get a broader view on our topic. I already though about doing it for myself, so I get a clearer picture about what issues I have addressed so far and where I should focus a little more. That we’ve done it together as a group in the end was perfect, otherwise we might have get stuck in a far too tiny fragment which was our topic before.
    Thanks for your summary. I thin we should definitely do this again in some weeks time…

  2. martinjaja says:

    Dear Thomas, great post. I totally agree with you on the topic and think, it really helped us to further improve this blog. I have already seen some new post and they all add really interesting bits and peaces to the topic of diversity management.

    I found a really nice quote by Andrew Carnegie. He once said: “If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.”

    I think, that quote perfectly described what we were just doing!

  3. thob84 says:

    Thank you guys for your interesting replies. I really like the quote cited by martin. It is amazing how often our mind can just go off wandering. Therefore, setting a goal and be determined requires effort and techniques such as the mind mapping.

    Also, I would like to name Joyce Meyer here, a great female Christian Leader, who published her new book: Power Thoughts. It is alreay a New York Times Bestseller.

    I really enjoy her quotatioen about our mind: “Where the mind goes the man follows”. Maybe I should write about her, because she clearly is a female role model.

  4. Mary says:

    Thanks for that post, Thomas! I uploaded our mindmap here.

    If someday you guys might miss some ideas of what topic to discuss next, take a look at WikiMindMap, a smart tool to play around with, creating a mind map out of Wikipedia entries. I did a mind map for ‘Diversity (Business)’ – click on the image for a bigger view.

  5. katjo2010 says:

    Thank you for this great summary, Thomas!
    I also feel that the mind mapping exercise helped us a lot and broadened our topic, which is very nice as some new views can be written about now 🙂 And it was a lot of fun, which is why I totally agree with Izzy, that we should definitely do it again!
    I now also, most of the times, draw my own mind map when thinking about what to write. So it also helped my personal, which I am very thankful for.

  6. hem says:

    A excellent video abnout “the sum is more than its parts” you will find here:

  7. Bruce Spear says:

    Hey, I’m so completely happy that you found this method and exercise helpful! But I must say that the credit goes all to you: you’ve done such good work — set out so many (6×6 posts) pieces of the puzzle — that all you needed was a method to put your good work in perspective and so enjoy a higher, meta-level understanding. What a pleasure!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] we have had a great mind mapping exercise with some really good follow-up posts by Bruce Spear, Thomas and Maria. This technique helped us not only to structure and evaluate our work. It also helped us […]

  2. […] Posted by Mary on November 30, 2010 · 4 Comments  As my group member Thomas already said: Revising our work, we created a mindmap of all posts published so far, which I tought would be nice to publish here. We decided to go further into the direction of Strategic Management, so we thought it would be best to move from ‘WOMEN’ to all kinds of ‘DIVERSITIES’. For a deeper explanation, click here. […]

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