Mapping for change

Mapping for Change
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Today, hundreds of organizations embark on change initiatives. The melting of barriers among nations and their increasing interconnectedness, accelerated by technology, has a profound impact on business. The Speed of Change, inside and outside organizations is accelerating. In this context, success depends more en more on adaptability.

But it is not easy

Change is not easy, it requires resources and should be directed towards clear goals and most importantly, it generates resistance. There is no one, simple recipe for change. 

Change Agents

What exactly is the relationship with Mapping? This is a close relationship. The community of Mappers, people using regularly Visual Thinking Techniques such as Mind Mapping, Graphic Facilitation, Concept Mapping, Sketchnoting... are mostly managers, entrepreneurs, teachers, researchers ... seeking to innovate in their professional practices and make a difference. They are change agents. 
Many among those who have incorporated Mapping Techniques in their daily life have experienced a shift in the way they organize tasks, resolve problems, prepare presentations and communicate. It has a lot to do with visual cognition, which helps us connect elements visually in a spatial format and create meanings.

Sharing a Vision

Sharing the Vision, visualizing the collectively produced story of change and the vision of success will be critical for the success of Change. Visual Mapping Methods and Techniques like Mind Mapping, Visual Metaphors or Visual Roadmap can effectively contribute to the collective production of a Shared Vision. 

Facing complexity
Our volatile age defies spreadsheet strategy. Computer models alone cannot calculate what will happen next. Managers are often forced to make decisions in a short space of time, choosing from multiple alternatives they have not encountered before. Many problems they face are unprecedented and ambiguous as well, and often there is not enough information on which to base a decision.Non-linear thinking, which is a key element of Mapping Techniques, gives us a tool for facing this fast changing and volatile age and taking better decisions. Intuition relies on non-linear processing of information, and incorporates both emotions and non-conscious thoughts. Mapping Techniques recognize the role of intuition, emotion, visual structures and pattern recognition in problem solving. Mapping gathers visual thinking tools where intuition and logical analysis work hand in hand.  

Some Visual Thinking Tools

To foster a creative and consistent internal communication tool, we can choose for example Mind Mapping. For more academic uses, the concept map is also a tool for change, provided that it is creative and visually impactful.

In meetings, sketchnoting and visual frameworks (like business model canvas, lean canvas...) help for project management and for problem solving. Visual frameworks are widely present in the world of startup companies. 

Using successfully visual thinking tools is heavily favored by the physical environment. This is why Cap Gemini, an IT services and business consultancy company, launched 15 years ago the "Accelerated Solution Environment" (A.S.E). 
A.S.E are spaces designed to foster collaboration and innovation with visual methods (see video below)

Another company, IdeaPaint, has created a dry erase paint that turns virtually any surface into an erasable canvas, giving us the space we need to collaborate, interact and explore our creativity.



To conclude, I would say that we are now at this particular time where the need for change experienced by individuals and organizations meets the rise of new visual tools and methods. 
Used without superficiality and with real desire for change, they will be a powerful lever for change in organizations.