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7 Ways to Use Concept Mapping for Business Success – ReadWrite

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flowchart, concept mapping


Many of us struggle to memorize things we see, read or learn every day. Recollecting even the points discussed in a team meeting or a brown bag session a few days ago can be challenging for most people.

Professionals and organizations use various techniques to overcome this challenge. Some try visuals, while some others use auditory inputs. Of all the methods out there, visualization techniques have proved to be among the most effective.

One study notes that about 65 percent of the world’s population are visual learners. Interestingly, 80-90 percent of the information received by the brain comes through the eyes. This leads us to the undeniable fact that visualization is an excellent method for memorization of new concepts.

Visualization tools come in different shapes and sizes. Concept mapping is one of the best methods and acts as an effective tool for any business.

Concept Mapping

A concept map is a visual representation of knowledge and information. It’s a diagram or graphical tool that can visually represent relationships between concepts and ideas, like circles, boxes, charts, and tables.

Coined by Tony Buzan in the 1970s, concept mapping is a powerful method to capture the understanding of a topic. It improves and evaluates thinking and systematically organizes your thoughts. Professionals and organizations use concept mapping tools to connect ideas and themes.

To put it differently, concept maps help us dig into an idea in detail as we visualize the overall information. They make processing, memorizing, and organizing information easier. Space agency NASA once used concept maps in its exploration of the solar system.

Concept mapping is different from mind mapping, another effective tool to organize new knowledge. Many people confuse them. While both tools let users structure their ideas visually, some vital fundamental differences exist between the two.

A key difference is that concept maps are a network of interconnected concepts, whereas mind maps are a free chart for organizing information. Thus, while concept maps are ideal for knowledge and content map analysis, mind maps are useful for idea generation and note-taking.

Concept maps are hard to change if there are more than 20 boxes or circles (called “nodes”). Mind maps, on the other hand, can be easily adjusted even if they are big.

Flowchart Mapping

Different Types Of Concept Maps

As mentioned above, concept maps come in different forms. There are four more widely-used types of concept maps: flowcharts, spider maps, system maps, and hierarchy maps.

1. Flowchart

Most of us are already familiar with flowcharts. A flowchart is used when we need to understand a process or make a decision. It shows each step in a process, and often uses arrows to indicate choices to be make or actions to take.

2. Spider map

As the name indicates, this type of concept map looks like a spider web. In this, you begin with your main idea in the middle and then move out to other topics in a circular pattern. These subtopics can further be branched out into smaller subtopics. These kinds of maps are ideal when someone has one concept they want to explore more.

3. Hierarchy map

This kind of map shows how a hierarchical structure is ordered. Think of it from an organizational standpoint, where it lays out the designations and roles and small groups in an organization. People can use this when they want to get to know the elements of a system.

4. System map

Unlike the other three more simple-looking maps, a system map is a bit more complex. It shows the components of an idea and how they’re interrelated. While they often resemble spider webs, they don’t have to flow outward from a center like what you see in a spider map.

7 Uses Of Concept Mapping In A Business

Many businesses use concept maps and have integrated them into their daily processes to streamline their workflow and improve employee productivity. Below are the eight uses of concept maps.

1. For Brainstorming Ideas

The free-flowing nature of the concept mapping tools makes it an effective tool for brainstorming. The structure of the concept map is such that it begins with a central idea and then expands into multiple sub-concepts. Here, there are no restrictions on the number of ideas one can suggest or propose, and all these suggestions can be incorporated into the concept tool.

2. For Better Planning

Businesses can also use concept maps to schedule and plan their meetings more efficiently. This technique enables them to divide different tasks among team members or highlight how each task is connected. In other words, concept maps let a business organize all its information in one place.

3. For Providing A Better Structure To Information

Concept maps are also used to present ideas in a structured fashion as they display the information more accurately. Businesses can use this combination of linking words and the concept map structure to discuss different problems and develop quick solutions.

4. For Combining Different Concepts

Concept maps also let you combine different information through spreadsheets or files. They ensure you get all essential information at your fingertips. This way, you can save a considerable amount of time, which is otherwise spent sifting through loads of information.

5. For Efficient Project Management

Another effective use lies in data and resource management. Concept mapping software comes in handy at the time of project execution; it allows project teams to add different tasks to the plan for a better workflow.

6. For Problem Solving

It also serves as a tool for developing solutions to complex problems that require critical thinking. One can visualize all the problem areas to create practical solutions with no room for any confusion.

7. For Better Showcase Company Structure

As mentioned before, the hierarchical nature of concept maps lets an organization map out employees. From the CEO to other key executives to the data entry operator, it showcases who reports to whom and in which department everyone belongs.

Say Goodbye to Messy Piles of Notes

From the different use-cases explained above, you can see that concept mapping is a powerful technique to organize your thoughts in a logical and systematic way. Many use this mapping to get a clearer picture of the different processes they’ve used or are working on, as well as to find solutions to complex problems.

With concept maps being part of your daily workflow, you can bid adieu to any unreadable mess of notes that’s been part of life for far too long.

Inner Image Credit: provided by the author; thank you!

Top Image Credit; shvets; pexels; thank you!

John Boitnott

CEO, Boitnott Consulting LLC

A journalist and digital consultant, John Boitnott has worked at TV, print, radio and Internet companies for 25 years. He’s an advisor at StartupGrind and has written for BusinessInsider, Fortune, NBC, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur and Venturebeat. You can see his latest work on his blog,
jboitnott.com

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Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending

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Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play


London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs

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Deanna Ritchie


As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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Politics

UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations

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Deanna Ritchie


As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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