Being successful today in any organization requires you to differentiate yourself, to separate yourself from the pack of people with similar backgrounds and career experiences. To paraphrase the late Steve Jobs, you need to “think different.”
Using mind mapping software can help you stand out and enjoy greater success, by introducing fresh and innovative ideas in your everyday activities. And here’s how mind mapping can do this for you:
Mind mapping software can help you think more deeply and explore new ideas and opportunities
Such type of software represents an incredibly rich and flexible canvas upon which you can capture your ideas. Not only that, you can utilize it to explore them in more detail, record any questions you need to be answered, knowledge and information you need to gather, and stakeholders you need to get on board with. Using mind mapping software can become your powerful tool for transforming your ideas into a tangible form, where they can be expressed, expanded upon, and evaluated.
Mind mapping software enables you to make your ideas more visible within the organization
Knowing how to sell your ideas within your organization is never easy, but it’s even harder during times of great uncertainty, like those we face today. During tough times, the status quo and hunkering down for survival continue to be the orders of the day.
Your ideas will be subjected to deep questioning and criticism and they may involve a significant amount of risk, with an uncertain payoff. They may threaten certain people because what you’re proposing may affect their operational areas or even their job or position.
Mind mapping software can help you sell your ideas in two key areas:
Organizing your thinking and anticipating potential objections
In this case, you can create a mind map that lays out the key issues that your idea addresses, why it should be implemented, who would implement it, investment and staffing required, and how the company will benefit from it. You can then present your ideas using conventional means – but simply use a mind map to prepare your pitch thoroughly and present it to the stakeholders.
Use it as the presentation medium
In this scenario, you not only use your software to organize your ideas, but you also present it in a visual form. This is potentially riskier, because some senior-level executives may feel uncomfortable viewing information in a non-linear format. But in many cases, it’s really worth the risk, because it will bring a “wow” factor to your ideas and will differentiate you as someone who is a savvy strategic thinker and a great visionary.
Mind mapping software enables you to think through the implications of business decisions
A mind mapping software is a powerful tool for developing and working through future scenarios and the implications of multiple decision paths. Most business decisions today involve high percentages of risk, uncertainty, and ambiguity.
The widely accepted practice of brainstorming and taking notes on flipchart sheets or in a Word document doesn’t help much, because it’s hard to connect the dots and see which potential decisions are the most advantageous and which may be problematic.
A mind map enables you to visualize potential future courses of action as “flowing” forth from a central point – where you are now. You can play “what if” and explore the implications of changing conditions quite easily, see connections and generate additional ideas and improvements via association. How cool is that?
Mind mapping software can help you cultivate thought leadership
Thought leadership is all about thinking differently – about having a distinct vision about your organization, your customers, your industry or profession, and the forces that are shaping it. You need to communicate a unique perspective, both internally and externally to people who can influence your career. I’m convinced that mind mapping is a powerful tool that can help you develop deep, well-thought positions on key business issues that matter to the people with whom you’re trying to influence and share your ideas.
Mind mapping software is a powerful, flexible canvas for exploring new thinking and converting your insights into reports, blog posts, presentations, and other forms of content that command attention and influence the thinking of your stakeholders. No other type of productivity software gives you this level of flexibility and creativity.
In closing, mind mapping software is a tool that can help you to stand out as someone worthy of senior management attention – by the way, you think, organize, distill and present your ideas to others.
About the author
Chuck Frey is the author of The Mind Mapping Software Blog. He has written numerous articles and reviews about mind mapping software and is widely regarded as one of the leading experts on visual mapping and visual thinking.