Visible Thinking. Unlocking Causal Mapping for Practical Business Results

  • ID: 2211439
  • Book
  • 396 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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We live in a complex world. We are constantly challenged by issues that seem at first to be simple, but on reflection turn out to have complicated causes and consequences that can dramatically affect our lives. Often, getting a handle on what the issues are is half the battle. Imagine a tool that can help you unravel the complexity of the decision–making labyrinth, a process that would allow you to:
  • Make sense of challenging situations
  • Tackle a large number of ideas and their interconnections
  • Evaluate and explore values, goals, strategies and actions
  • Link strategic thinking to action
  • Develop effective action plans in response to the issues
  • Create shared meaning and agreement
  • Communicate strategies in ways that can be easily understood and acted upon
  • Make people understand why an action is important and how they can help
  • Help you move from ′winging it′ to creating integrated strategies that are robust, both today and in the future, for your firm
Causal mapping is that process. A causal map links your ideas using a few simple rules to reflect causality and so reveal strategic options and goals. Visible Thinking shows you how to create causal maps for individuals and groups, and thereby to capture the power and broad applicability of causal mapping in a business, as well as a personal, context. Visible Thinking will revolutionize the way you approach complex situations and help you decide what you should do, how you should do it and why.

The causal mapping process is illustrated through a series of real cases – from tackling personal problems to strategy–change efforts in business, public and not–for–profit organizations. The cases are used to present a comprehensive set of process guidelines designed to help you create your own action–oriented causal maps.

′Mapping has worked very well in enabling us get to grips with major decisions. The process brings issues and underlying assumptions to the surface, using the diverse perspectives of all members of the group. Then, most helpfully, it structures contributions so that the group reaches a shared understanding and can see the whole, rich picture.′ Ros Micklem, Principal, Cardonald College, Glasgow, Scotland

′Bryson, Ackermann, Eden and Finn beautifully convert the bland noun "map" into the vivid managerial verb, "to map", and in doing so define a unique managerial capability that can provide new sources of order and meaning in chaotic times.′ Karl E. Weick, Rensis Likert Distinguished University Professor of Organizational Behavior and Psychology, University of Michigan Business School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

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About the Authors.

Preface: Creating the Future You Want Causal Mapping for Individuals and Groups.

Part I: What Mapping Is and Why and How It Works.

1. What to Do When Thinking Matters.

2. How and Why Mapping Works.

Part II: What Do I Think? A Guide to Cognitive Mapping.

3. How not to Miss the Boat.

4. House of the Rising Fun.

5. It s a Bummer to Be JB.

Part III: What Do We Think? A Guide to Oval Mapping.

6. To Merge or not to Merge That Is the Question!

7. Small College Hoping not to Get Smaller!

8. Making the Most of our Assets.

9. A Question of Turning Around.

Part IV: Summary and Conclusions.

10. Learning from the Chapters, or How Does This all Fit together and How Can I Make Use of It?

11. Benefits, Limitations and the Future of Mapping.

Resource A: Glossary of Terms not Defined in the Text.

Resource B: Analysing Causal Maps.

Resource C: A Brief and Selective History of Causal Mapping for Facilitating Thinking and Other Commonly Used Mapping Techniques.

Resource D: Additional Resources.

Resource E: Listing of Process Guidelines.

Index.

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John M. Bryson
Fran Ackermann
Colin Eden
Charles B. Finn
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