Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Introductions matter; don't they?

Another short thought blog by Visual Mapper

Introductions matter; don't they?

Do you recall the first time you became acquainted with Mind mapping? Oh my, I do and it was at a time when I just didn't need another frigging tool to learn. I was involved with a company as a contracts controller within the clean room modular construction business.

Motorola was the client at that time and we (middle management) were required to go through a course of statistical process control that was eventually called the Six sigma green and black belt certifications. Oh I hated the fact that I had to basically go back to school again, and I thought the math was going to demolish me.

Back in that day we used a real rudimentary (at that time) minitab type of software that saved my arse regarding the calcs and statistical charting. My software list of tools was growing monthly at that time and I must admit I was ill prepared for the advancements in information management, as I was and still am old school. But I persevered and eventually, as we all do, reached that point of proficiency.

And then my boss asked me to attend with him to an introduction to this thing called Mind mapping. Hey I went because my boss said so, and the food and drink was a freebie; it seemed like a relaxing night out.

The presenter introduced Mind mapping, gave us a book called mindmapping by Joyce Wycoff, spoke about the inventor of mind mapping called Tony Buzan and gave everyone crayons and large sheets of paper. (And no, we didn't get any books by Mr Buzan at that time); I thought to myself, “I need another vodka”. So here I was, over worked, stressed and in need of another self medicating drink. And then we started to mind map out a few of our specific business processes, and almost immediately I had what I later came to define as an “INSIGHT”.

That insight was this; holy sh** I can actually get a birds eye view of all of our relevant processes that control our daily operations by the overviews presented within this damn mind map. My boss was a little more vociferous than me, as we both are Glasgow boys born and bred; the expletives came hard and fast.

We went home after doing the maps and pondered the implications of using mind mapping within our business model. The next day my boss and I decided to see if we could create what I now call a master map of all of our business processes. It worked a treat, but went through a sh** load of large format paper and wrote all over the walls that weren’t actually white boards.

A few weeks passed and I was merrily feeling rather unstressed as I could keep tabs on our processes, and I even mapped out our business system that was in the process of being certified to the precursor to ISO9001 called BS 57/50, yup BS.

I started to flowchart the business system out using a mainstream MS product and found it awful for realizing my new mind mapping skill set. And then I came across a mind mapping software; I can't actually recall the name, but it may have been called Mind Maps or Visimap. It changed everything for me as a fledgling information manager. All these years later, and exposure to many software product and changes in career, I now define myself as a knowledge mapper.

But that initial introduction: Oh my it mattered so much and forced a change process in me that has taken me through many loops of continuous improvement as a person, manager, consultant and teacher.

I do hope you have your unique story to tell; please feel free to share right here at Visual Mapper.

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