When I took a charge of establishing professional HR function in Sakaal Media Group (http://www.sakaal.in) in 2005, it was a real challenge. Sakaal has the history of almost 80 years, known brand in media in Maharashtra and Goa with almost 2,500 FTES and almost 5,000 stringers and part time employees. My team had comprised with employees who were working for last 10-15 years and also employees who were hardly 2-3 months old in the organization (including me).
My first task was to map the current processes which were not even documented and to apply pragmatic HR processes. There were almost 20 team members from different locations in the meeting room. Team was dynamic and enthusiastic to learn new things.
My first challenge was to get new ideas and brainstorming was one of the tools to get good ideas. In a typical brainstorm new ideas come at random and totally unorganized, especially when the subconscious mind is being accessed. If you want an effective brainstorm, each idea has to be captured and written down first. Then only, ideas can be evaluated and organized in ‘lists’ as a next step.
I had heard in past about the technique called “Mind Mapping”. This technique was pioneered by a brain researcher, Tony Buzan. This technique describes a special way of writing down ideas to create new and better ideas by providing new relations and insights.
A typical Mind Map looks like a neurological pattern of the brain, where branches with ideas, observations and insights spring from a core idea in the middle of the paper. A Mind Map is often a colorful drawing with words, pictures, doodles and symbols that provide readers with a quick and memorable understanding of the issues. Extensive research has not only shown that Mind Mapping leads to more and better ideas, but it also leads to a much deeper learning experience when used to learn complicated subjects.
Making a Mind Map is simple:
• Take a blank sheet of paper and describe the subject in a few words in the middle of the page.
· Draw branches from the middle of the page to the side of the page and name each branch with a word (or a drawing) describing ideas, concepts or connections that are linked to the main subject.
• Each branch can create a new branch with a new word. The branch expanding process is unlimited.
• After creating multiple branches, take a complete survey of all branches and find synergies and relationships between the words, ideas, concepts and drawings.
• When the Mind Map has been finished you will notice that each time you review the picture you have created earlier, it will instantly trigger your memory and the key concepts of the Mind Map are easily remembered.
You will have different ideas when you use colored pens. The reason is that our brain associates colors with certain concepts (for instance ‘blue’ with ‘calm,’ like a calm ocean). These subconscious concepts trigger new associations and new ideas.
You can also this technique for Not taking, preparing for Speech, Lecture, Presentation and even discussion points.
There are few softwares for preparing your Mind Map.
(This is a Mind Map while we were discussing about Manpower Planning. This is a generated through software.)