Organization Development Network of Western New York


Posted in Facilitation, Meeting Notes, ODN of WNY Members, Programs by Michael Cardus on May 25, 2010

Making Learning Fun with Mind Mapping

Greg Liberto

In any industry or profession, knowing the tools of the trade has always been an advantage to staying ahead of your competition. Whether you are a professional athlete, building contractor or a marketing genius, knowing what information is required to make you a success is crucial to achieving your goals. In training and education our “tools of the trade” cover a wide range of products. These tools include such items as an electronic survey, a Learning Management System (LMS), a behavioral test, courseware development tools, Web based training options and much more. While each of these tools serves a specific purpose, the knowledge required to be adept at each is very broad. However, there is one tool that can be utilized in all of these areas and is consistent throughout. That tool is a Mind Map.

Mind Mapping has been in existence much longer than the Internet and sophisticated assessment programs ever existed. It was originally used back in the 3rd century and has been resurrected in the last 40 years. A Mind Map incorporates thinking using both sides of the brain and has the capability to exist in any learning environment using crayons or colored pencils. The secret to unleashing a powerful Mind Map is interesting and fun, and just like any other master craftsmen’s tool it does require knowledge and practice.

Often referred to as a visual roadmap or the ultimate visual organizational tool, a Mind Map incorporates the use of color and a free flowing thought process that starts in the center of a page and moves outward in a radial fashion. Mind Maps are not restricted to creative thinkers, however they can create thinking that you never thought existed. The way to incorporate the use of a Mind Map is different for everyone, however once you see the benefits it can bring, you will understand the endless potential it offers. Let me briefly explain some ways to incorporate a mind Map into your learning organization.

Creating a Learning Organization – While the criteria for successfully creating and implementing a Learning Organization within a company will vary based on size, the one component that is required is a vision. Without a vision success will come hard served. Sharing a vision to implement a learning culture starts at the top and cascades out to each associate. Companies that lack a vision in this area create a culture that is void of growth and limits potential within their team.

Presentations – If you rely on a PowerPoint, or notes, as your crutch in your presentation it is likely to let that shine through to your audience. If you are presenting a topic for the first time you know that it can be challenging due to lack of confidence or lack of knowledge. Using a Mind Map to prepare for a training deliverable or a customer presentation allows you to retain the key talking points and not rely on your crutch to get you through. Incorporating the effective use of imagination and association allows you to be better prepared thus creating a more relaxed and confident delivery.

Retention – Whether you are providing a training seminar or attending one, the ability to retain key concepts is extremely important. If you like to scribe every detail or record limited information, incorporating a Mind Map as your note making system is a highly effective way to retain information. If you have ever walked away from a training session and said "I will remember that for sure tomorrow or next week or next month" but never review the information, the likelihood for retention is limited. Using a Mind Map as a retention tool is effective as it allows you to view the information at a glance and commit information to long term storage.

To incorporate Mind Mapping into your organization contact Greg Liberto

michael cardus


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