Using Mind Mapping For Creativity

Mind mapping

by Dr Vijai Mariaraj

One of the specific aspects of creative thinking is the DO IT technique method outlined by Robert W Olsen in his book ‘The Art of Creative Thinking’. It is an efficient method for defining problems and finding effective and creative solutions. This method helps you to draw the best out of the creativity techniques.

DO IT is essentially an acronym for:

D – Defining Problem

O – Opening your mind and applying creative techniques

I – Identifying best possible solutions

T – Transforming them into concrete actions.

D - Defining Problem. To define the problem accurately, you will have look at the problem in its entirety. You have to get at the root of the problem so you know that you are dealing with the causative factors, and not with the symptoms. If the problem is large or big, you could break them into smaller and meaningful components so the problem assumes greater clarity and widest dimension. Include the constraints contained in each aspect of the problem so you cover the problems in their fullest range. Summarizing the problem will help in getting at the crux of the problem clearly.

O – Opening your mind and applying creative techniques. Once the problems areas are identified, you could begin finding solutions by looking at them from all angles. Brainstorming is invariably an effective method for coming out with solutions. Ideally, you could use group brainstorming, where effective thinkers and implementers could be included to present their solutions to the problem. It is important that even the most ridiculous and the weird are given full expression and accepted without any criticism or questioning. It is often found that the most abnormal and wildest of ideas generally lead to most creative solutions. So suppressing them or negating them will deny scope from creative inputs.

I – Identifying best possible solutions. Identifying the best solutions for the problem or problems on hand involves the next step. Often the best solution may turn out to be costly or may have limitations, not immediately apparent to you. You have to go the whole length and explore the solutions to weigh how far they could be effective. You could see whether the solutions fall within the overall goals of the organization or your own. This will determine the extent to which you can go for giving shape to the solutions looking from the future perspective.

T – Transforming them into concrete actions. This is the final stage of transforming the creative solution into a reality. It involves not just the creation of product or services, but also about taking care of the marketing and business aspects of the creative plan.

This is one area where more creative thinkers falter because they fail to ensure its commercial and economic viability. It is crucial an Action Plan is set for transformation of the creative solution that includes business and marketing plans. You have to sincerely try all avenues unmindful of hurdles or rejections that you may encounter to actualize them. As always perseverance pays.

The common and conventional method for using the DO IT technique is the usual linear method of listing. If you were instead, to use Mind Maps, you will realize you have an excellent tool on hand. Mind Mapping allows you to record all the problems and solutions easily and concisely, and renders the whole exercise meaningful and simple.

When a complete Mind Map is formed using the DO IT technique, you gain a full picture, which provides the necessary association and links between different elements of your creative process and solution. These are completely absent in the regular listing type method.

By using Mind Maps you can register all the brainstorming ideas quickly as they arise and analyze how they can be connected to alleviating the problems. Because the big picture of the entire creative process is mapped on, it becomes easy to assess the impact and gauge its full impact to come out with the most creative solutions.

Association and concepts are crucial elements to creativity and Mind Maps provide the greatest scope that is not available in any other method; hence the superiority of the Mind Mapping method. They make for simple and yet highly powerful technique. As in everything else, you have to try Mind Mapping technique to understand its significance and dynamism. Time you used Mind Mapping to see for yourself.

Suggestions for Further Reading

Author: Dr. Vj Mariaraj is a Mind Map enthusiast and has been using Mind Maps for the past twelve years. He has created over 5650 Mind Maps. Dr Vijai Mariaraj may be contacted at businessbookmindmap.com vijayamahalingam@sify.com

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