When it comes to unraveling a complex business challenge, sometimes it helps to get a bit of “altitude” above it – to view it from a panoramic perspective where you can see all of its components and how they relate to each other.
Mind mapping software can be an excellent tool for deconstructing a challenge, analyzing its root causes and envisioning creative solutions to it.
The Tom Peters Times e-newsletter for October contains a story that does an excellent job of illustrating this principle in action:
“As a young Army Officer, I was once tasked with planning an attack on an enemy position. For hours I pored over maps, studying known friendly and enemy dispositions, weather, tide, intelligence reports, and so on. I got completely bogged down in my thinking. I had lost clarity. My Commanding Officer offered me a twenty- minute flight in a helicopter to sight the ground over which we were to advance. Twenty-one minutes later I had a crystal clear plan in my head and knew exactly what we had to do. I had quite literally gained altitude over my problem. Heightened my awareness.
“Do you have ‘altitude’ over your organization, or are you bogged down in the detail? Do you have a brutally clear view of your current performance? Can you define the competitive challenges and disruptive forces at work on you?”
I love this story, because mind mapping software enables you to create a “helicopter view” of your challenge that reveals its core elements and relationships – and therefore helps you to solve it faster and more creatively!