Monday, January 31, 2011

Shared Mind Maps for Personal KM

Mind mapping is an interesting technique to help organize and visualize your thoughts. I recently heard a mind map 'expert' say that a mind map exactly represents what goes on in your brain. No, I do not buy that, not even close. I should hope our brains are much less simplistic than the brightly colored diagrams set on flip charts or butcher paper. The statement was a bit of a surprise.

Without being flip, there is a lot of value to mind mapping and for those who have no other recourse in getting their networks and areas of influence down on paper, and who need to separate the wheat from the chaff as far as what knowledge is critical to share, it's a decent place to start.

What would be even better however is to do this with those around you, those with whom you work on a daily basis. Look for overlaps and notice the gaps between the maps. You may well see where knowledge is held in common, and that may give you one piece of information, and you may well see what knowledge is held by only one, and that may give you  a different piece of information.

At the very least, the exercise may well help generate excellent and insightful conversations between you and your colleagues around what knowledge you each hold, what is critical and how that impacts your work.

My caveat here is to be careful how you assess the information. Think about the filter you are using and make sure you are wisely leveraging this very interesting tool. Trends and patterns provide critical information when you analyze carefully.

Maybe you can map how you think about mind mapping.

1 comment:

Liquid Meat said...

Making mind maps together is an interesting idea. I have shared my own personal mind maps with others and found that connections I make are often insightful to others. These sharings are a great jumping off point for ideations.