Thursday, August 25, 2005

Mind-Mapping Tool

CmapTools has been updated to v3.8. The release was accompanied by a story from the Associated Press that appeared in The Boston Globe. CmapTools is a freely available, open source mind-mapping tool developed at the Florida-based Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) with funding provided by NASA and the Department of Defense.

From the description of CmapTools at IHMC's website:
The CmapTools program empowers users to construct, navigate, share and criticize knowledge models represented as concept maps. It allows users to, among many other features, construct their Cmaps in their personal computer, share them on servers (CmapServers) anywhere on the Internet, link their Cmaps to other Cmaps on servers, automatically create web pages of their concept maps on servers, edit their maps synchronously (at the same time) with other users on the Internet, and search the web for information relevant to a concept map.

CmapTools website (via SchoolTech Leadership)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Cracking the books...

This is a blog set up as a quick journal for an elective class in creativity in management... I'll update it once it a while and if possible post to it long after the class is over. I'm using the free blog service and not really putting much though into the layout and design right now due to time limitations.

This is a self-analysis/introduction about me. Mainly for the group/class but just to put some things out in writing to more understand where I’m coming from for the rest of this class.

I am currently in the product innovation management tract, MBA at NC State University, should graduate in December... Unless I decide to hang out another semester in the part-time program to take two other classes. My background is undergrad Industrial/Product Design also from NCSU focusing on design and development, mostly graphic/multimedia, interface/GUI and some universal (think senior/elderly - 'inclusive') design. I was in graphic and visual design industry; I now work the (pseudo) IT industry... I used to do a bit of freelance in graphic design and new media development -

My present job places me in Human Resources – which on most occasions is devoid of creativity… I’m a Webmaster/HRIS/Staff Development Specialist for NC DHHS while I finish up my MBA. Any extra time outside family, work and school I use to watch movies or play World of Warcraft. I used to be more active, cycling and climbing but climbing went away after I got married... Lately, I fill in as a dial-up consultant/producer/project manager for a friend of mine at Distill Advertising Group, in downtown Raleigh, until they get their PM/Producer back from maternity leave.

Last year my Myers Brigg type was INTJ but a few years before it was something else (INFP?)... I think due to a big shift from doing straight creative work and gradually moving into it. On Gardener’s Multiple Intelligence Test my learning style “test” showed that I scored high (9 or 10) on logical/mathematical, visual-spatial, musical, intrapersonal, naturalist and med-high (7 or 8) on linguistic, interpersonal and bodily-kinesthetic.

My first language is not English but I was so mainstreamed (Carter administration) that I’ve long since forgotten how to speak Mandarin – I do know when my mother is talking about me to her friends.... Took French in high school because Spanish was full and dabbled in Latin just to pick up on Roman/Greek history. I come from a military family. I've lived up north, grew up down south and traveled the world... I'm a fast talker, spit out a lot of ideas and ask questions to the point of annoying people... I am a visual thinker... I doodle, I like to line up french-fries before eating them, but I don't think I am obsessive compulsive. It doesn't bother me too much if I don't stick to a schedule but keeping to one is fine too, hence the project management background in software/multimedia development... I write in stream of thought consciousness and tend to use lowercase far more then I technically should.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005


A short booklist for this class but interesting ideas presented in them...

Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide to Better Ideas
Integrating insights from the worlds of psychology, engineering, management, art, and philosophy, Adams identifies the key blocks (perceptual, emotional, cultural, environmental, intellectual, and expressive) that prevent us from realizing the full potential of our fertile minds. Employing unconventional exercises and other interactive elements, Adams shows individuals, teams, and organizations how to overcome these blocks, embrace alternative ways of thinking about complex problems, and celebrate the joy of creativity.

Creativity in Business
This book is the distillation of the course that Michael Ray and Rochelle Myers taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. It is theoretical. It is practical. A collection of thoughts, insights, anecdotes, exercises and real life examples of applying creativity to business - the exercises are intriguing and the anecdotes are inspiring. This is a book that presents you with tools and some understanding of why they work, so that you can apply them in your life and in your business. Nice section on destroying the Voice of Judgment that shoots down creativity.