Creativity; Ideation; Exploration; Planning
Mind mapping is a visual ideation technique in which an individual explores all aspects of an idea using a visual map or diagram. Mind mapping can be useful when facilitating a creative process or brainstorming session. One advantage is that it allows individuals to explore ideas uninterrupted. Each participant can then display their mind map to the group for discussion.
The mind map is typically radial, starting at a central node and with multiple ‘child’ nodes expanding outwards. The nodes can either text or images or a combination of both. The process allows the mind mapper to think about and explore ideas in an intuitive way as it is not limited by liner structure of traditional note taking and list making techniques. Below is a sample mind map.
Legal / A4 Note paper or flipchart paper; Multi-colored pens or markers; Flipchart
- Explain the principles of mind mapping as set out below:
- Start in the center of the page.
- Draw/write your central node. This is the key idea or concept you wish to explore.
- Ask yourself – “what is the first aspect of this concept that I want to explore?“.
- Create a ‘child’ node for this and connect it to the central node by a line.
- Use different colors for each ‘child’ node.
- Now ask yourself – “what are the key points / aspects of this child node?”
- Create sub-child node for each aspect you wish to explore of record.
- Repeat this process for each key aspect of the central node.
- Don’t limit yourself to text, use drawings / symbols etc to capture your concept.
- Give each individual some note paper / flip chart paper and some markers / pens.
- Allow participants 10 minutes to brainstorm the issue / objective of the session using mind mapping.
- Bring the group back together.
- Start your own mind map on a flipchart / whiteboard.
- Do a round table of each participants mind maps and collate and combine their feedback on the flipchart mind map your prepared.
- Continue until you have a single collated mind map capturing the core ideas of the participants.