Mind mapping used to be an individual sport. You would simply get started with pen and paper at your desk or with some markers and a white board. Even with software, mind mapping used to be a “productivity secret” that was infrequently shared with others. Recently though, over the last few years, mind mappers have started to emerge and go public.

Mind mapping is no longer limited to individuals. It’s being brought to meetings – both in person and online. And, it’s creating immense value for teams!

“Yes, my name is Michael and I map!”

And I don’t map because I like to think visually. I map because it leads to better results.

Collaborative Mind Mapping Enhances…

1. Communication and Collaboration: Streamline and improve how you communicate with your team and as a team.

2. Problem Solving: Collaborative mapping makes it easier to show the relationships between different functions and groups, as well as gaps. Get a better understanding of problems, generate more solution ideas, and reach better results.

Collaborative Mind Mapping Increases…

3. Idea Output: Combining our thinking in real-time collaborative mapping creates idea synergy on the fly which leads to more ideas. More ideas lead to better results.

4. Speed: Mind mapping alone doesn’t guarantee speedy results. But when you apply a little meeting facilitation best practices, wow, the results are amplified. Try mapping for brainstorming sessions, requirements gathering, status meetings, or even problem solving. You’ll see what I mean.

5. Synergy: Synergy is one of my favorite high school lessons. 1+1=3. Put two minds together and you’ll get better results than each one could produce individually.

6. Alignment: At a project conference I attended some time ago, a project manager shared with the audience how mapping out a project charter used to take about a week. When he brought together stakeholders and mapped it out as a team, they were able to align and sign off on a charter in three hours! Another great by-product of collaborative mapping is the ability to align together as a team.

7. Engagement: Meeting maps create engagement with meeting participants. It’s a fast and easy way to capture conversations as they occur and collaboratively contribute in the creative process.

Collaborative Mind Mapping Decreases…

8. Meeting Costs: One benefit of ‘faster meetings’, ‘greater alignment’, ‘more ideas’, and ‘synergetic thinking’ is that you’ll be meeting less. In fact, you may find that it takes you less time to prepare for a meeting, less time in the meeting, and less time following up after the meeting. Multiply that by the number of participants to gauge the true cost savings.

9. Turf Issues: Another common problem on projects and many meetings are the hidden agendas that each stakeholder brings with them into the session. Mind mapping is a great way to level the playing field and capture input across all stakeholders.

10. Time to…decisions and action: Getting past the ‘thinking’ stages of a project or problem faster lets you focus on what really matters, acting on your decisions to create and measure results. Whether you’re collaborating in real-time or overtime via maps in shared workspaces, having all the information in one place lets your various team members get up to speed, contribute, and make better decisions faster.

So there you have it, with one word of caution.

All of the above presupposes that you know how to mind map and have experience facilitating meetings effectively. It’s the magical combination of best practices for meetings and mind mapping that yields these great results. If you are not yet effective with your mind mapping techniques, start there. Afterwards, you can apply these techniques in your team meetings to become a more effective team.

Want to learn more about the value of visuals? Join us tomorrow for our Lunch and Learn Webinar with Andy Wibbels, Mindjet’s Director of Solutions and Partner Marketing. Register here.