New Year, New Blog, Old Gripe...
So here's the new year, and here's the new blog, and yet I have a compelling urge at the end of this week to return to a familiar gripe: the dismissal of mapping as not being a useful tool for business.
This topic has been covered ad-nauseam in many other areas, so I do not intend to go into a particularly protracted rant here, especially as the majority of people reading this will undoubtedly be mapping people who know only too well the usefulness of the tools! Suffice to say I have been working in recent weeks with a group that has has embraced mapping like the child they never had, and whilst working with this group, I encountered another group that dismissed mapping like a child they wish they'd never had.
I think I wrote once before about the image of "visual mappers" being the nutters in the corner with crayons whilst everyone else gets on with the real work (excel, word, powerpoint, snore...) but surely by now the majority of people have come around to the idea that there is more than one way to think and approach tasks, information and projects?! I was astounded by the approach of one individual whose observation was simply "it all looks pretty but who would actually use this stuff in reality?" A quick diversion to Biggerplate.com and the numerous mapping blogs and forums quickly put that discussion to rest.
And yet the problem does persist; people who do not want to deviate from their known set of work tools rarely want to know or believe that mapping can have a place in business, even when you highlight and demonstrate some of the fantastic new stuff that MindManager 8 can do for example (more on that at a later date).
My solution/suggestion is not massively original and is of course heavily influenced by my personal ambitions with Biggerplate, but it seems to me that if mapping advocates wish to demonstrate the many different ways in which a map-based approach might be utilised in business, we need to be able to showcase the huge variety of contexts in which maps are actually being utilised in business across the world. I believe Biggerplate can obviously play a part here if all "mapping advocates" truly throw their hat into the ring by contributing maps to our site.
My personal ambition for Biggerplate is for the site to host a million MindManager maps, and with the number of users that exist in the world, that is not an un-realistic target, even if it seems a long way off. But it seems that in many cases size does matter, and in this case, so does diversity. A huge library of maps covering all manner of business topics seems to be a good first step in demonstrating the adaptability and usefulness of mapping in business.
With that volume of content, from such a wide range of people and business arenas, only the most neanderthal of business people would fail to take notice of maps in business.
If they are still not impressed, go write the number 1 million on the wall in crayons, that should get their attenion.
All the best