Mind Map Mastery Mind Map Mastery

Mind Map Mastery
17 Apr 2018

Mind Map Mastery

By Tony Buzan

Before you even start reading this work properly, you will find that it makes a couple of debatable claims.

Firstly, even though Mindmaps.net suggests the tool has “a long history, dating back to the third century”, a statement on the book’s inside back cover claims that the author is their “internationally acclaimed inventor”. Indeed, the writer himself confidently refers on page 14 to “when I introduced Mind Maps to the world in the 1960s”.

To be fair, the book does draw on some historical precedents, including the work of Roman philosopher Boethius, Leonardo Da Vinci, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and US theoretical physicist, Richard Feynman. But of the contribution made by US psychologist Carl Rogers and management scientist Peter Checkland, no mention is made. This situation is unfortunate as mind mapping owes much to a range of diverse influences - and so acknowledgement should be duly given.

Secondly, the work makes the rather overblown claim in its subtitle that it is “The Complete Guide to Learning and Using the Most Powerful Thinking Tool in the Universe”. So having disregarded every other kind of thinking tool available, how does the book fare once reading begins?

Rather prescriptive

It starts well by explaining the mind map concept and succeeding in demonstrating how it can act as a useful tool to show users linkages and relationships between different things, with the aim of helping them consider situations in a more holistic manner.

The problem is, however, that the author appears to be rather prescriptive in how he advises readers to employ the approach. He lectures on what a mind map is and is not and indicates that there is only one correct way to use it, no matter what an individual’s personal preferences or learning style, thereby stifling the very creativity the technique seeks to unleash.

With a bit more grace and recognition of how mind maps can interact with other problem-solving methods, more acknowledgement of others’ work and the approach’s potential limitations, this could have been a wonderful book. Paradoxically, by implementing “laws” and instructions, it becomes as restrictive and inflexible as the methods it seeks to replace.

For those new to mind mapping, the book could prove a colourful and thought-provoking introduction. For people who already use them successfully, it would be best avoided as it makes the concept appear over-complicated, overblown - and even a bit pretentious.

 Mark Northway 

Mark Northway is director and courses co-ordinator at Deltic Training, which provides strategic administration and business management courses and accredited qualifications. He is a former director and trustee of the Institute of Administrative Management (IAM), a chief IAM examiner and a Princes Trust Award winner for his role in business mentoring in the UK.

 

Mind Map Mastery

By Tony Buzan

Before you even start reading this work properly, you will find that it makes a couple of debatable claims.

Firstly, even though Mindmaps.net suggests the tool has “a long history, dating back to the third century”, a statement on the book’s inside back cover claims that the author is their “internationally acclaimed inventor”. Indeed, the writer himself confidently refers on page 14 to “when I introduced Mind Maps to the world in the 1960s”.

To be fair, the book does draw on some historical precedents, including the work of Roman philosopher Boethius, Leonardo Da Vinci, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and US theoretical physicist, Richard Feynman. But of the contribution made by US psychologist Carl Rogers and management scientist Peter Checkland, no mention is made. This situation is unfortunate as mind mapping owes much to a range of diverse influences - and so acknowledgement should be duly given.

Secondly, the work makes the rather overblown claim in its subtitle that it is “The Complete Guide to Learning and Using the Most Powerful Thinking Tool in the Universe”. So having disregarded every other kind of thinking tool available, how does the book fare once reading begins?

Rather prescriptive

It starts well by explaining the mind map concept and succeeding in demonstrating how it can act as a useful tool to show users linkages and relationships between different things, with the aim of helping them consider situations in a more holistic manner.

The problem is, however, that the author appears to be rather prescriptive in how he advises readers to employ the approach. He lectures on what a mind map is and is not and indicates that there is only one correct way to use it, no matter what an individual’s personal preferences or learning style, thereby stifling the very creativity the technique seeks to unleash.

With a bit more grace and recognition of how mind maps can interact with other problem-solving methods, more acknowledgement of others’ work and the approach’s potential limitations, this could have been a wonderful book. Paradoxically, by implementing “laws” and instructions, it becomes as restrictive and inflexible as the methods it seeks to replace.

For those new to mind mapping, the book could prove a colourful and thought-provoking introduction. For people who already use them successfully, it would be best avoided as it makes the concept appear over-complicated, overblown - and even a bit pretentious.

 Mark Northway 

Mark Northway is director and courses co-ordinator at Deltic Training, which provides strategic administration and business management courses and accredited qualifications. He is a former director and trustee of the Institute of Administrative Management (IAM), a chief IAM examiner and a Princes Trust Award winner for his role in business mentoring in the UK.