Sunday, July 26, 2009
VISUAL MAPPING FOR BUSINESS
It’s a systematic framework for success
Using the tools of visual mapping within the business arena is a place where we experience the potential for superior information management. Having said this, there is a connection between the three main areas of visual mapping. Hopefully by now you understand the importance of the personal area as being the foundation of becoming a superior information manager.
The academic area is where we see an exponential increase in knowledge management and sharing capabilities. We now therefore arrive at the business area wondering where the tools, methods and mindset of visual mapping fit.
Whether you are involved within Industry and/or corporate business, you will more than likely be using a global accepted Business Management System (BMS) such as ISO 9001 or equivalent. Looking at the standards approach to BMS it’s very evident it’s very process driven.
If you’re not using an accepted standardized approach to business management: data, information and knowledge contained within procedure, process and system is equally evident in everything you perform within your business. From simplicity to complexity, we are driven by process, and this can be managed by applying to tools, methods and mindset of visual mapping.
Whether you’re the dominant left or right brained associative thinker and producer, is irrelevant. You have a whole brain that happens to have two main hemispheres, and they’re connected with heavy duty wiring that even computer hardware can’t fabricate.
While using your logical side of your brain; did you know that your right hemisphere is cooperating to associate an appropriate graphical expressiveness to your logic? Of course this system of brain function is equally right to left and right to left, we need the whole brain to function and start the process of enabling out thought processes to be made tangible.
Today’s businesses are driven by ideas, processes, and information more so than ever before. Take a hard look at your company or organization: how are you capturing the most important and crucial information‐which is the monetized life blood of your company?
From my perspective, far too many organizations have simply failed to sufficiently develop systems that can clearly identify, track and monitor the “information economy” that resides within your own organization. Yes‐there may be hundreds of documents scattered on network hard drives across your organization: you may eventually find them.
Is there a way these important processes, ideas and information, the “working capital” of your company, can be systematically accessed and updated? Key to understanding how these functions can be embedded in your organization requires that you understand the importance of the ₁“information economy”, ₂“data banking” and ₃“knowledge governance. I’ll be speaking more in depth about these functions in later messages.
Within my consulting work, I realize the power of graphical frameworks for creating, managing and exchanging the essential information processes that make up corporate knowledge capital.
The genesis of effective visual mapping begins at a personal level as the user learns how they can use visual mapping software applications to help solve and communicate ideas more effectively and naturally.
These skills then continue to evolve, and as they do, the user can begin to focus on using visual mapping in learning and training and finally within the business arena. The forward thinking professional through visual mapping can transcend the capabilities of traditional linear information management systems and gain clarity and focus that is the natural result of implementing visual mapping strategies.
My clients, who use visual mapping, experience an exponential knowledge gain regarding process and systems thinking. Further business success is enabled by realizing the capabilities and scope of use of this non‐linear approach to information management.
So what are the benefits of visual mapping and what can it do for you?
For busy business managers or administrators in higher education who are inundated with the onslaught of paperwork: they can utilize the visual mapping approach. The result is an exponential improvement to information management skills and certainly more control over essential processes associated with organizational systems. As a result, you shall experience a positive culture shift which is a natural by-product of infusing the tools, techniques and mindset of Visual mapping within an environment that adopts and adapts this systematic framework for success.
The image below expresses how we’ve integrated linear and non linear systems. Linear management is likened to a train with many cars; they represent the constrained communication direction of processes that make up linear systems.
The visually mapped information above expresses process and system; in other words, the visual map expresses the connectivity, relationships and communications of the whole system. Viewing the big picture now makes it possible to identify with clarity any system constraints. The issues are easily remedied by implementing changes to suit the evolution of the system.
The success of non‐linear information mapping is evident by the graphical framework that expresses defined and exact connections that communicate with processes that matter to the continuous growth of a system.
Visual mapping benefits the effective creation, management and exchange of information within an organizational management system to the point of exceeding the requirements of any international standard (i.e. ISO 9001).
Today’s business success is measured by the effectiveness of information management; and for the most part, information has been overlooked as a financial commodity. This monetized information has reframed our current understanding of knowledge systems that make the wheels of business turn. I call this the “information economy”; this is where people are recognized as being the most important function of information management. Train your people to use visual mapping tools and your investment will pay dividends.
The information that is created, managed and exchanged within an organization, feeds the knowledge database of a visual map. The visual map becomes an entity that grows and is generated by the exchange of information. Knowledge grows by the effective investment of superior information management. This database may be analogous to a bank and the information managers are the investors who deposit relevant “knowledge capital.” At the higher level, “knowledge governance” is required to oversee and direct the information investment. Zoom out and you have what is now commonly called “The Knowledge Economy”.
Again, the framework of a visually mapped business system enables effective knowledge governance by supplying a single source access point of being able to connect all relevant processes that support the business system.
Using dashboards and embedding documents within a visual map can exponentially increase your information management system capabilities and express a whole new level to the understanding of the “information economy” and what it has to offer your organization.
As of Mid 2009 we have what is being called a “revolutionary” approach to visual mapping for the information manager. It’s “Method Neutral” and it’s defined as “Multiple modes of information expressed within a flexible workspace”. Consider this definition well; debate, argue and study it, as I firmly believe we’ll be using this term to create, manage and exchange data/information/knowledge systems from this point forward. For more information about Method Neutral go here!
You simply can’t fail to experience the exponential gains to your business functions when using the tools, techniques and mindset of visual mapping. Connect with me and I’ll help you get there.