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World’s Leading Designers Use Mind Maps to Innovate

David Kelley, founder and chairman of IDEO, has been recognized as one of America’s leading design innovators and creator of Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, also known as the “d.school.” Working beside David is his brother, IDEO general manager and author of “The 10 Faces of Innovation.” Among its many accomplishments, IDEO has brought the world the Apple mouse, the first laptop computer, and the Palm V.

How does IDEO remain so innovative?

Well, one of the secrets is mind mapping. In a past BusinessWeek article, David explained why Mind Mapping is so popular in Silicon Valley: “When I want to do something analytical, I make a list. When I’m trying to come up with ideas or strategize, I make a mind map. Mind maps are organic and allow me to free associate. They are great for asking questions and revealing connections between seemingly unrelated ideas. I start in the center with the issue or problem I am working on and then as I move farther away I get better and better ideas as I force myself to follow the branches on the map and in my mind. The cool thing is that you allow yourself to follow your inner thoughts, which is different than making a list where you are trying to be complete and deal with data.”

Just this month, Fast Company reporter Linda Tischler interviewed David Kelley about his work, his passions, and how to make a difference in the world. Take a peek inside the mind of a creative giant as he wrestles with the challenges of K-12 education!

Also in news, Tom Kelley shared how Mind Mapping is a way to get creativity flowing on Oprah’s Magazine, O.

How are you using mind maps to increase your own creativity and innovation? Share your comments below.