An entrepreneur is an active position.
The word comes from old French meaning, to undertake.
A manager might maintain a business at a constant, static level, but an entrepreneur must undertake the task of expanding the organization, of moving it to the next level.
Mind mapping is a valuable tool for anyone in this role, primarily because it can help conceptualize thought patterns in a concrete way.
Armstrong Abebrese of the Aberdeen Business School defines “thinking, forming, and change” as the primary mental processes used by an entrepreneur.
Mind mapping techniques can help to define ideas at each of these stages and create more effective brainstorming.
How Entrepreneurs Can Use Mind Mapping
There are numerous reasons for an entrepreneur to consider using mind mapping software.
These are five of the most important areas:
- Building New Ideas. Nearly every entrepreneur is in search of good ideas. In a video on this subject, Steve Johnson describes partially formed ideas as “hunches.” According to Johnson, it takes a “collision between (several) smaller hunches” to form a large, new, creative concept. Many latent ideas remain dormant at the back of our minds where they risk being overlooked and forgotten. With mind mapping, these suggestions can be laid out and put together in new, more effective ways. This is the basis for innovation which is a very important goal for anyone who wants to expand a business.
- Organizing Ideas. Any strategic plan is impossible without first organizing the ideas behind it. Mind mapping software can accomplish this by laying out a visual representation of all the potential ideas and showing how they overlap or intersect. Different diagrams, maps, and flowcharts provide several ways of looking at a project and can help to prioritize the order in which tasks need done. This level of advanced planning is necessary in order to be prepared for all possibilities.
- Presenting a Project. Not many big projects can be accomplished single-handedly. The best new ideas remain unrealized unless they can be conveyed to others. To convince a skeptical colleague, one needs a strategy that is well laid out and easy-to-follow. Mind mapping software can provide a convincing presentation that others can relate to. It can add a level of professionalism that is important for anyone putting forward an original, and possibly risky, suggestion.
- Communication Among Colleagues. Group input always creates a higher level of innovation than a single author. Mind mapping software is ideal for this. It allows several collaborators to work on the same project at once. A solitary genius may find it easier to think up new concepts alone, but once these ideas are entered into the software they can be fine-tuned by someone else in a way the original person might not have thought possible. This allows colleagues with very different work styles to contribute to the same project.
- Putting Ideas in Context. The business world does not happen in a vacuum. Any entrepreneur who isn’t able put their ideas in the context of the real world will not be able to accomplish anything. Mind mapping software can help to provide this kind of perspective. As well as organizing a group of ideas, it can present these ideas in relation to the big picture and show whether they will work or not.
Entrepreneurs face a unique challenge: They must plan for the unpredictability of the business world and somehow turn this element to their advantage.
Effective use of mind mapping tools helps to create thought patterns that are organized, but at the same time fluid and adaptable.
This is a very important asset for anyone leading a business.