“Through clustering, the right brain has the opportunity to generate fresh perceptions and meaningful patterns” ~ Dr. Gabrielle Lusser Rico, Author of Writing the Natural Way
What if you could break up traffic with a simple gesture? Your super-power, “able to dissipate afternoon gridlock in a single bound.” How much time would that save you, knowing that you had a technique to keep the highways clear so that you never waste another moment sitting in afternoon or morning traffic?
In terms of brainstorming, idea generation, and breaking mental roadblocks, clustering – or the more common term mind mapping—is that tool (if you trust it and do it right).
In “11 Tips for a More Innovative 2012 ” Anita Campbell says:
“The key to mind-mapping is that because it’s visual, it engages a different part of our brain than verbal communication does, which encourages us to think in new ways.”
It’s all about awakening both sides of the brain so that you can look at your problem, business or idea in a new context. Learning to see your business from a fresh perspective may carry fresh and creative solutions. In “Innovation Starts With Defining the Problem ” Anita says:
“The way you define the problem affects the solution.”
And she suggests context-mapping which is a form of mind-mapping to help you get clear.
But why does it really matter?
To answer that question, we have to have a little brain talk (I’ll make it quick).
The Right Hemisphere is The Artist: Pictures, Designs
According to Dr. Gabrielle Lusser Rico, Author of Writing the Natural Way , the right hemisphere “looks at the whole,” operates in metaphors, and “is mute.” The right brain uses pictures instead of words. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, Author of Stroke of Insight , adds that the right brain sees the big picture and the more subtle kinds of understanding:
“The brain is dual and each hemisphere is capable of operating independently of the other.”
So if you want to benefit from both, you have to activate both.
What about the other side?
The Left Hemisphere is The Critic: Words, Analytical
This part of the brain uses sequential and linear thinking. According to Dr. Rico, the left hemisphere is literal, precise and driven by information and processes (sounds like business doesn’t it?). In fact, Dr. Jill says, the left brain carries our ability to relate to the world. It’s the part of the brain that interprets language, performs it function and “talks and talks and talks.”
All This Talk About Mind-Mapping
. . . is about getting to the best of both worlds. And more specifically, activating the right hemisphere in addition to the very active left, so that you can benefit from the creative ideas that lead to unique and effective design and innovation in your company.
Clustering can shake up the mind. You can use it when you don’t know where to begin. You can also cluster your way out of overwhelm and into an angle and a focus that makes sense. And when clarity comes, action can follow.
It seems so simple, but clustering, mind-mapping, can break the creative gridlock.
More Information About Mind-Mapping
Ivana Taylor shows you how to start your marketing plan by using this creative process. She says, “creating a mind map before you develop a marketing plan activates the creative visual part of your brain. It allows you to see patterns and opportunities” that you would have missed with a traditional outline.
Dr. Gabrielle Lusser Rico says:
“I specifically developed clustering as a way to gain access to the right brain.”
This book is for writers but it will help anyone trying to maximize the creative process.
Mind Map Photo  via Shutterstock