I participated in professional network mapping session hosted by Harold Jarche. These sessions are part of a series of web meetings on the Connected Knowledge Lab organized by Jane Hart and Harold. While there were a few in attendance at this session, the conversation was stimulating.
After the web meeting, I reflected on how I might create my own maps to organize, build and maintain my professional online network. The following two diagrams and the dynamic online map will illustrate my approach for filtering and nurturing my online network.
The first diagram is background material used to ground our discussion in the web meeting. The core concepts (mind set) to start creating your professional network map can be further examined in these posts from Harold’s blog. Personal Knowledge Management , Network Learning:Working Smarter and As the World Keeps Churning, Work Today is All About Learning.
The Task/Questions section of the map identify the purpose of creating your personal networking map.
In the diagram below, I’ve created domain areas that were useful ways for me to envision my network map. The little squares in the yellow boxes (visible on the last map in this post) are notes that further suggest how you can interpret those domain areas.
The first three personality types described in the blue boxes (Mavens equating to Geniuses; Connectors to Thought Leaders; and Integrators to Salespeople) are drawn from Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point. The Doer personality type is added because without someone that can take great ideas and actually do something with those ideas, your good ideas will never get off the ground.
The purpose of posing the questions (blue boxes) is that the questions will help me review my current and future network contacts so I can make sense of my network. I’ll be able to make better decisions about adding and deleting contacts in my map. I think that old saw about seeing the forest for the trees applies here.
As I worked on the map, I was constantly reminded that the map is not the territory. For me, this meant that the richest discoveries where to be found in my examination of the map and seeing connections, possibilities, gaps, overlaps etc.
This is the dynamic online map I made with Mindmeister. It’s an online mind mapping and collaboration mapping tool that is easy to use. You can also invite teammates or others to add to your map. I like the online map because you can easily add contacts to your network, enter website URL’s, notes etc. For example in the Brand You Networks I added this note to explain what Brand You meant to me. “Contacts that inform and strengthen your PKM practices, in particular your ability to communicate with clarity your added value that you bring to your services”.
Click on the Maximize Map to work see how it works and also see the notes and web addresses.
Create your own mind maps at MindMeister
Now I have a template (structure) to filter, refine, discern, imagine and nurture my personal network map. I’ll use my map to filter my contacts and place them in appropriate domains. Most importantly I’ll ponder my map and see if I can discover new ways to grow and guide my professional development and learning.