7 Ways to Use Concept Mapping for Business Success – ReadWrite

Many of us struggle to memorize the things we see, read, or learn every day. Remembering even the points discussed in a team meeting or brown bag session a few days ago can be a challenge for most people.

Professionals and organizations use various techniques to overcome this challenge. Some test images, while others use auditory inputs. Of all the methods out there, visualization techniques have proven to be the most effective.

One study indicates that approximately 65 percent of the world’s population are visual learners. Interestingly, 80-90 percent of the information the brain receives comes from the eyes. This brings us to the undeniable fact that visualization is an excellent method for memorizing new concepts.

Visualization tools come in different shapes and sizes. Concept mapping is one of the best methods and acts as an effective tool for any business.

Concept mapping

A concept map is a visual representation of knowledge and information. It is a diagram or graphical tool that can visually represent the relationships between concepts and ideas, such as circles, charts, graphs, and tables.

Coined by Tony Buzan in the 1970s, concept mapping it is a powerful method of capturing understanding of a topic. Improve and evaluate thinking and systematically organize your thoughts. Professionals and organizations use concept mapping tools to connect ideas and themes.

To put it another way, concept maps help us dig into an idea in detail as we visualize the general information. They facilitate the processing, memorization and organization of information. NASA space agency once use concept maps as you explore the solar system.

Concept mapping is different from mind mapping, another effective tool for organizing new knowledge. Many people confuse them. While both tools allow users to structure their ideas visually, there are some vital fundamental differences between the two.

A key difference is that concept maps are a network of interconnected concepts, while mind maps are a free graphic for organizing information. Therefore, while concept maps are ideal for content and knowledge map analysis, mind maps are useful for generating ideas and taking notes.

Concept maps are difficult to change if there are more than 20 boxes or circles (called “nodes”). Mind maps, on the other hand, can be easily adjusted even if they are large.

Flowchart mapping

Different types of concept maps

As mentioned above, concept maps come in different forms. There are four most commonly used types of concept maps: flowcharts, spider maps, system maps, and hierarchy maps.

1. Flow chart

Most of us are already familiar with flow charts. A flow chart is used when we need to understand a process or make a decision. It shows each step in a process and often uses arrows to indicate choices to be made or actions to be taken.

2. Spider map

As the name implies, this type of concept map looks like a cobweb. In this, you start with your main idea in the middle and then move on to other topics in a circular pattern. These subtopics can be divided into smaller subtopics. These types of maps are ideal when someone has a concept that they want to explore further.

3. Hierarchy map

This type of map shows how a hierarchical structure is arranged. Think of it from an organizational point of view, where you establish the designations and roles and small groups in an organization. People can use this when they want to know the elements of a system.

4. System map

Unlike the other three simpler looking maps, a system map is a bit more complex. It shows the components of an idea and how they are related to each other. While they often look like cobwebs, they don’t have to flow outward from a center like what you see on a spider map.

7 uses of concept mapping in a company

Many companies use concept maps and have integrated them into their daily processes to optimize their workflow and improve employee productivity. Below are the eight uses of concept maps.

1. To exchange ideas

The fluid nature of concept mapping tools makes them an effective brainstorming tool. The structure of the concept map is such that it begins with a central idea and then expands into multiple sub-concepts. Here, there are no restrictions on the number of ideas one can suggest or propose, and all of these suggestions can be incorporated into the concept tool.

2. For better planning

Companies can also use concept maps to schedule and plan their meetings more efficiently. This technique allows them to divide different tasks among team members or highlight how each task is connected. In other words, concept maps allow a business to organize all of its information in one place.

3. To provide a better structure to the information

Concept maps are also used to present ideas in a structured way, as they display information more accurately. Businesses can use this combination of linking words and the concept map structure to discuss different problems and develop quick solutions.

4. To combine different concepts

Concept maps also allow you to combine different information through spreadsheets or files. They make sure you have all the essential information at your fingertips. In this way, you can save a considerable amount of time that would otherwise be spent sifting through a large amount of information.

5. For efficient project management

Another effective use is in data and resource management. Concept mapping software is useful at the time of project execution; allows project teams to add different tasks to the plan for better workflow.

6. To solve problems

It also serves as a tool to develop solutions to complex problems that require critical thinking. All problem areas can be visualized to create practical solutions without confusion.

7. For better company showcase structure

As mentioned above, the hierarchical nature of concept maps allows an organization to identify employees. From the CEO to other key executives to the data entry operator, it shows who reports to whom and in which department they all belong.

Say goodbye to messy piles of notes

From the different use cases explained above, you can see that concept mapping is a powerful technique for organizing your thoughts in a logical and systematic way. Many use this mapping to get a clearer picture of the different processes they have used or are working on, as well as to find solutions to complex problems.

Since concept maps are a part of your daily workflow, you can say goodbye to any unreadable mess of notes that has been a part of life for too long.

Inside image credit: provided by the author; Thank you!

Top Image Credit; shvets; pexels; Thank you!

7 Ways to Use Concept Mapping for Business Success

John boitnott

CEO of Boitnott Consulting LLC

Journalist and digital consultant, John Boitnott has worked in television, print, radio and Internet companies for 25 years. He is an advisor to StartupGrind and has written for BusinessInsider, Fortune, NBC, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur, and Venturebeat. You can see his latest work on his blog, jboitnott.com

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