Strategy Team Work

20th June 2016

Mindmapping: We’re Doomed! We’re Doomed!

by Craig Hall, Managing Director

When I was younger (many moons have passed), there wasn’t much on the TV but what there was really seems to have stood the test of time. “We’re doomed” from Dads Army always stuck in my mind. For the younger amongst you, that line was delivered week in, week out by a Scottish actor John Laurie (us Scots are not exactly famed for our optimism). I’ve been considering lately though how we’re not actually doomed at all, despite the apparent current state of affairs!

My concern is that the increase in channels to express ourselves and the sheer amount of devices, apps and widgets with which to use, only move us forward in new thought IF we use our innate instinct to create ‘new’. Everything nowadays is instant. Immediate. Now. Yesterday, if possible. There’s no room to think properly.

If we’re honest we probably haven’t introduced ourselves to any new tools to assist.

If you always do what you’ve always done… you’ll always get what you always got”.
Henry Ford – American motor Company

The bedrock of our development as a race is creative thought and innovation. I feel we need to grasp new tools and techniques to fuel this so we can be more innovative.

I get riled when people say, “I’m not creative”; we are all beautifully individualistic and slightly mad. We all face problems and challenges and usually come up with a new and innovative way of solving things. This may be individually new or a world’s first. We may not have a ponytail, tattoos, piercings and work in advertising, or in the goat hair weaving knicker commune, but we are all capable of creativity.

You ARE creative.

Aside from not having enough thinking time, we also have too much content. We have not got enough insight and innovation. We are pigeon-holing people/careers/market sectors and creating further (false) barriers to the ‘new’.

We’re not doomed, it’s time to embrace the new…

I’ve been mindmapping for 18 years, but I’ll not bore you with the introduction story (an international tale for later). It’s been an extremely helpful way of getting a wee of glimpse of how the brain works and why we need tools like this to get thinking creatively.

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International Brain Language

Tony Buzan popularized mindmapping. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been trained by him. He calls the ‘international language of the brain’ image and association; language btw is a sub routine.

Just pause to observe your brain in action: As you’ve been reading this you may have noticed, if you’re the self reflective type, that your brain has thrown up pictures as you read, which helps to make the copy come alive doesn’t it? You may have imagined what Tony Buzan physically looks like when you read his name for example. Or a more specific example: If I say ‘tree’ you automatically either think of a tree opposite your house/flat, or the archetypal oak tree, a yellow ribbon, a 70’s UK song or perhaps an ancestral tree, you don’t visualise the 4 letters that makes up the word (if you do, we are indeed doomed!).

Your brain then flies from tree, as I just did above, to associations with that picture, it may be a smell, a song or an emotion and your mind accesses this database at a blistering pace. Ever done a pub quiz and said, “I have no idea where that came from?’ – your subconscious has a lot of info ready to be drawn upon, it just needs that trigger or association.

Mindmapping Impact

I’ve honestly lost count of the stares and positive/inquisitive comments I’ve had from people who’ve noticed me perhaps in a seminar, or in a session with a client, using colour pens, pencils, markers to create a map. It’s aided me in demonstrating thinking to an employer, to a potential new client, to show planning to an existing client, to plan mammoth cycling trips, holidays, dinner parties, a pizza oven build, the list goes on and on.

We’ve been restricting our thinking via lined paper and grey/black/blue pens. We’ve dulled our potential with monotonous grey and portrait uniformity. We haven’t encouraged the stimuli of colour, the freedom of doodling, day dreaming and the openness of a blank sheet of paper.

Your brain is sitting waiting, lets do something new to go somewhere different.

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Craig Hall, Managing Director

Mindmapping: We’re Doomed! We’re Doomed!