We have all experienced the strain of working through the recession. The market is ruthless and for your business to stay ahead of the competition you must constantly develop and evolve. Innovation is a prerequisite not a bonus and so the ability to generate new ideas and find a fresh perspective is more valuable than ever. Find out how Mind Maps can stimulate innovation – whatever your business.
Innovation and creativity go hand in hand, and you cannot push forward and create a space for innovation within your company without first finding a way to enhance your collective creative skills.
“Wherever creativity goes – and, by extension, wherever talent goes – innovation and economic growth are sure to follow.”
If you need to brainstorm an issue, develop a new product, deliver a marketing campaign, make a pitch for a deal or simply discuss a problem, creativity is key. Creating a Mind Map is an excellent way of coming up with creative ways to address the matter.
Here is a simple five-step Mind Mapping process for you to follow to create your own brainstorming Mind Maps and boost innovation in your company.
Begin your Mind Map by setting your central idea, theme or topic. Choose a stimulating central image that represents the theme or topic you are addressing.
From your central idea radiate every idea that comes into your mind on that subject, dividing them into key ideas, or main brain branches. From your main ideas/branches add your sub ideas, or child branches. You should let the ideas flow as fast as possible. Having to work at speed unchains your brain from habitual thinking patterns, and encourages new ideas and innovation. Many of these new ideas may at first seem absurd, however they often hold the key to new perspectives and the breaking of old habits. The most innovative solutions come from the germ of an idea, and you want to encourage as many new thoughts and creative ideas as you can at this stage.
Have a short break or move onto another task, allowing your brain to rest and begin to integrate the ideas generated so far. Then make a new map in which you identify the core ideas/branches, categorising, building up hierarchies and finding new associations between your preliminary ideas. Similar ideas may be repeated in different areas of your map, on different branches. These peripheral repetitions reflect the significance of the repeated idea as it is influencing multiple aspects of your thinking and should be pursued further as a lead to innovation.
After completing the above steps, take a break – innovation comes from those light bulb moments and these sudden creative realisations often occur when the brain is relaxed such as daydreaming, sleeping or running. This is because such states of mind allow the radiant thinking process to spread to the farthest reaches of the brain, increasing the probability of mental breakthroughs. The potential of focused daydreaming to help facilitate innovation should not be underestimated. Albert Einstein did it himself to help visualise and arrive at his famous theory.
After incubation your brain will have a fresh perception on your first and second Mind Maps, so it will be useful to do another quick fire Mind Map burst. During this reconstruction stage you will need to consider all the information gathered and integrated in stages 1, 2 and 3 of the process for generating innovation, in order to make a comprehensive final Mind Map.
Using your final Mind Map, you now need to search for the solution, decision, or realisation which was your original creative goal. This often involves doing further work on your Mind Map – making connections between branches and perhaps adding further sub-branches. When using iMindMap you can move branches around your workspace which often stimulates more connections and ideas. The answer may not present itself straight away, so be patient, take another incubation break if you need to. Finding connections and patterns that you had not previously been aware of can lead to major new insights, breakthroughs and genuine innovation.
You can stimulate innovation in half the time with Mind Mapping software. Tony Buzan’s iMindMap utilises the true principles of Mind Mapping and makes creating maps refreshingly simple.
Editing and revising maps takes no time at all, so there is no need to start from scratch when you need to rearrange or expand your map – cutting down significantly on the steps above. Speed Mind Map Mode draws the map for you so you can capture ideas as they come without interrupting your train of thought. iMindMap will unleash your creativity and enrich your business with innovation and success.
Steve Jobs co-founder of Apple and Pixar