Sunday, March 13, 2016

Part Deux: The feedback cometh. Hans Terhurne.

In answer to: The Evolution of the Visual Mapper (Part Deux)?


Hans Terhurne of creamatics @HansTerhurne has been a colleague for many years now, and his thought leadership within the EU regions of Netherlands/Germany relating to visual knowledge is very well known and exposed.

Yes, something has changed in the way visual mapping tools are marketed. More and more we see business examples and presentations focusing on business purposes at the sites of the software companies.

Visual mapping tools are not only our schematic ways of acting with all kinds of maps. Infographics are still nearby, but there are also visual thinking tools as photo, video, family/business constellations, cartooning/harvesting and theatre. Our specialisms are the schematic forms because of our backgrounds I think.

I think we still are focusing too much on the tools where it’s about the thinking process. We know our added value is interesting because of these tools, but still … Problem is that focusing on the process we have to compete with all kinds of other consultants and facilitators while we are/want to be those very special and valuable VISUAL facilitators.

We still struggle with the fact that a lot of people first have to experience our way of working before they have any idea what it could bring. Since their childhood people learned in a linear way. To change that to a more holistic thinking means a lot, it makes people a bit unsure or even anxious. And most people are already unsure and anxious because of all kinds of crises at this moment – better stick to the known way of working because you never know what will come out.

As Jeff Conklin and Paul Culmsee say it’s also difficult to work our way if there are hidden agendas. Sometimes the transparent picture is not wanted.

We are in a transition period which give us chances. Some companies and communities are looking for a dialog. A dialog means more listening than talking and with our tools we can structure this dialog. Also old solutions work less and less, so more and more people will be open for other ways of getting clear what should be done. Problems are getting more ‘wicked’ and the rational linear way of problem solving doesn’t work very well in such cases. An iterative process with the help of visual mapping is getting more interesting.

So it’s not about visual mapping, it’s about thinking of all kinds of things with the help of visual mapping. It’s about the process and we still are talking too much about the tools and if something may be called mind mapping as meant by Tony Buzan. It’s not important if we use mind/concept/whatever mapping. We can help to get a wider overview and a deeper insight with our way of facilitating and we know what tools are most helpful in a certain situation.

A problem is how to distinguish from ‘the others’.

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