Thursday, June 08, 2023

What do I use maps for?

It's an interesting question. 

There are some that use maps to challenge what they're doing i.e. "Why are those racks custom-built?"

There are others who use maps to apply the right methods - whether project management or purchasing or finance.

Then, there are those who use maps to anticipate change for reasons of investment or managing inertia or both

Whilst others use maps to convey complicated spaces, either to focus on user needs or innovation or efficiency or even just to discover that one space that people are missing (i.e. virtual is a transport system)

We also have people using maps for strategic play e.g. thinking about ecosystems and where to build to them (one of over 100 different forms of gameplay)

At the same time, others use maps to think about issues of sovereignty beyond territorial and into all the landscapes we compete in (economic, technological, political and cultural) i.e. where should our borders be in a technolocial / economic space, where do we colloborate and where to conflict?

Whilst others use those principles developed from those maps to look at their organisation or those of competitors.

And the list goes on and on. We haven't even talked about the use of maps in contracts or organisational structure or risk assessment or financial flow or removal of duplication or analysis of culture or finding weakness in supply chains or ... well, fortunately the question wasn't "Where can maps be used" but "What do I use maps for"?

Fundamentally, I use them as a means of communication. A way of escaping the tyranny of stories, story tellers, syntax, rules and styles and into a world of objects, relationships, patterns, consensus and context. There isn't a right use of maps, there are many uses and a lot depends upon what a group of people need at the time.