I firmly believe that mind mapping is not a panacea for every issue that businesses face. But it IS a powerful tool to help executives to make the transition from following orders and being compliant to becoming a linchpin – someone who:
- Is capable of creating their own roadmap,
- Can connect effectively with others, and
- Can deliver creative, inspired solutions that delight their employers and customers.
I recently took another look at Seth Godin’s latest book, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?, to see what insights I could gain from it. A linchpin, as defined by this popular marketing guru, is someone who is committed to doing remarkable work, which makes them indispensable, and to produce interactions that organizations and people care deeply about.
As I read through the first few chapters of this excellent book, making notes in the margins to document my thoughts and reactions, I was struck by a strong feeling that mind mapping software is the perfect tool for linchpins. Here are a number of quotes from the book that back up my assertion:
“The system we grew up with is based on a simple formula: Do your job. Show up. Work hard. Listen to the boss. Stick it out. Be part of the system. You’ll be rewarded. That’s the scam… There are no longer any great jobs where someone is telling you precisely what to do.”
When there is no road map that shows you “precisely what to do,” mind mapping software can be essential in helping you to get clarity on your situation, and then to craft a successful path forward. It helps you with problem definition, project scoping, opportunity analysis and decision making. Where there is no map, mind mapping software helps you to create one.
“Imagine an organization with an employee who can accurately see the truth, understand the situation and understand the potential outcomes of various decisions. And now imagine that this person is also able to make something happen.”
Mind mapping software helps savvy executives to envision creative solutions to complex challenges. But not only that, it also helps you to create well-organized action plans to solve them, and to track your progress as you do so. In short, it helps you to make things happen!
“It’s the art and the insight and the bravery of value creation that are rewarded.”
Mind mapping software helps in the process of value creation. It is the engine that helps you to organize ideas, see “white space” opportunities that others aren’t even aware of, and provides you with a powerful set of tools to drive them forward to successful execution.
“Finding security in mediocrity is an exhausting process. You can work only so many hours, fret only so much. Being a slightly better typist or a slightly faster coder is insufficient. You’re always looking over your shoulder, always trying to be just a little bit less mediocre than the guy next to you. It wears you out. It’s impossible to do the work at the same time you’re in pain. The moment-to-moment insecurity of so many jobs robs you of the confidence you need to actually do great work.”
Mind mapping software helps you to become more confident by enabling you to deconstruct your current situation or challenge, to break it down into pieces and understand how they fit together. It helps you to reach clarity faster – the number one benefit of mind mapping software, according to the readers of this blog. Greater clarity means less stress, and that, in turn, frees you up to do great work. Following this line of reasoning, it can be said that mind mapping software enables great work.
“Working without a map involves both vision and the willingness to do something about what you see… Linchpins are able to embrace the lack of structure and find a new path, one that works.”
Mind mapping software can help you to envision new paths and solutions, organize your thoughts about them, identify the best one and build an action plan to bring it to reality. It’s that simple.
“Troubleshooting is never part of a job description… Troubleshooting is an art… The troubleshooter steps in when everyone else has given up, puts himself on the line and donates the energy and the risk to the cause.”
What tools can troubleshooters use to help them analyze challenges, help a small work team understand what the real underlying problems are, envision a new solution and mobilize people into action with practical action plans? Mind mapping software, of course.
“The linchpin brings the ability to lean. He can find a new solution to a problem that has caused others to quit. His art, his genius, is to re-imagine the opportunity and find a new way to lean into it.”
Mind mapping software, in the hands of a linchpin, can be a really powerful thing. It can help you to re-imagine problems and opportunities in new, creative ways. It’s a perspective-altering tool that enables you to see the forest and the trees – at the same time. You can use it to fashion plans with a bias for “leaning” into action. It also arms you with tools you can use to track progress against your goals and make mid-course corrections.
See what I mean?
I believe that there is such strong alignment between the principles and strategies Godin is talking about and the natural strengths of mind mapping software that it’s hard to ignore. Mind mapping software is the perfect tool for linchpins. That’s my conclusion.
What do you think? Please share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.
Want to know more about this remarkable book, and why I’m so keen on this apparent mind mapping connection? You can pick up a copy of Linchpin from Amazon.com here.