Mind Maps are particularly useful for chairing meetings. The chairperson has the agenda on a basic Mind Map and can use this fundamental frame to add thoughts, guide discussions, and record the basic outline of what will eventually be the minutes of the meeting. Colour coding can be used to indicate action, ideas, question marks, and important areas. Chairing a meeting this way allows the person in the chair to be much like a captain of a starship guiding it safely through the clusters and galaxies of ideas.
A variation on this theme is to have an official Mind Map-minuter, sitting next to the chairman, in order to enable the chairman to participate on many levels at the same time, while keeping a constant overview of the developing thrust of the meeting.
One individual who used this Mind Mapping approach with particular success was Fidelity's Bruce Johnstone. In a January issue of Money magazine, the feature article on Johnstone explained how he had ground out average annual returns of 21 per cent over the past ten years and had become 'America's Best Income Investor'. The article states:
'Several books in his office mark him as a man determined to make the most of his mind: such titles as The Brain User's Guide and Use Both Sides of Your Brain. One fruit of his studies is the Mind Map, a note-taking diagram that marshalls key words and ideas on a single page. At fortnightly staff meetings, often with thirty or so analysts and fund managers on hand, Johnstone sits at one end of the conference table diagraming the discussion, while Peter Lynch, mastermind of Fidelity Magellan, the nation's best growth fund', rations each speaker to three minutes with an egg-timer. At one session last November, for example, Johnstone drew a green branch on which he wrote "AT&T - maybe - deregulatedBranching off, in purple, was another line labelled "flexibility - raise - rates" and another marked "B translation: buy AT&T!" After the meeting Johnstone ordered 20,000 shares at 25 dollars. In two weeks the price went to 27 dollars!'
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The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave several of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness too much to do and not enough time; the pressure to produce and check off items on our to-do list by each day’s end seems to decide the direction and quality of our existence for us.