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Archive for August 24th, 2009

Sea Shells and Show + Tell

Collecting sea shells is a lot like Idea Mapping! I just spent several days at the beach with my wife and two young sons. When we first went to the shore, my sons started grabbing all of the whole shells they could find and took them back to our room. Each day they would grab even more shells. As we got ready to come back home, they kept only the ones that were worthy of “Show and Tell.”

Idea Mapping is the same way. When you are making your first draft, include all of the ideas that occur to you. Make sure that you allow yourself  “several trips to the shore.” This will give you a larger universe from which you can select your ideas that are “Show and Tell” worthy. You may find that you also need more than one evaluation sessions to trim your map. That’s good – better to have a lot of ideas to choose from than not enough! To paraphrase Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling, “The best way to have a good sea shell is to have a lot of sea shells!”