We’ve all lived through it: endless, aimless ‘brainstorming’ sessions, led by whichever corporate leader drew the short straw, and who is now forcing his boardroom full of unwilling accomplices to ‘come up with creative solutions to the problem of flagging sales’ or ‘find innovative ways to penetrate a resistant market segment’. Except he’s completely wrong. In fact, like the class dunce taking a ride on an elevator, he’s wrong on so many different levels.

Why? Our list of three ways in which he (and you) may be completely misusing mind mapping can guide you through the minefield of developing your business’s solutions.

1. He thinks creativity is the problem

It isn’t. Creativity is ever-present. It’s a massive, endless stream of reactions which the human brain throws up, ten-a-second, to enable you to cope better with the slings and arrows of living in a busy, post-industrialist age. The problem is not creativity. Or, to be more specific, it isn’t the amount of creativity available to us: it’s the organisation of that creativity into words, sentences, strategies and action plans that is the elusive Excalibur of 21st Century corporate survival. Your business needs a system to channel, focus and utilise creative ideas and embryonic strategy fragments. Mindjet MindManager is that system. It not only resolves your company’s ideas and tactics into visual images for easy reading, but also helps you see them as layers over one another, so that their integration into a cohesive strategy can happen.

2. He thinks throwing out words, and then recording these on flimsy flipchart paper with a marker is ever going to translate into anything tangible.

Once again, it isn’t. The recording of ideas is almost as important as their generation. Mindjet MindManager will immediately digitise your mapping, giving you easy saving, the ability to revert to certain aspects later, the power to integrate different maps, and the flexibility of interfacing with existing systems, processes and other digital interfaces. In particular, MindManager’s Application Programming Interface (API) can do things that set it apart from every other mapping application currently available. If your business has a strong internal IT support service, all the better: you’ll find that you’ll benefit from MindManager’s completely unique Macro Editor, which allows you to ___________________ (Colin, you’ll need to guide me on the specifics here).

3. He thinks the boardroom is an island unto itself.

You guessed it: it isn’t. That boardroom shouldn’t be the place you reinvent the wheel. It shouldn’t be the place you start from scratch and generate lofty ideas, only to have even the most cursory Google search shoot them down later. Test your ideas and tactics immediately, or develop them through research right there, at the coalface! MindManager’s Zapier links it to hundreds of popular web services, like search engines, LinkedIn, Facebook and Sales Force, and also allows you to create a reusable link to these. And maybe you want to link other people in your organisation to this process? Once a Zap is created with the Zapier, you can use it to send Map content to your chosen service, to quickly share information with other users.