A concept map is visual representation of how different ideas are related to each other. Ideas that are located close together on the map are closely related in meaning, and ideas that are farther apart are considered to be less related in meaning. Similar ideas will often "cluster" together, which allows us to look at them as a whole category.
In traditional planning, people often start by defining the topics of interest. In group concept mapping, individual ideas from stakeholders come first, then the map shows an organizational structure of these ideas, and how they can be used for effective planning.
Most concept maps or mind maps are a visual representation of how one person views a topic. The Concept System® concept maps summarize and reflect how an entire group views a topic rather than just one individual. Our unique software program uses statistical techniques to aggregate how each group member individually chooses to organize ideas into categories, and it reflects the priorities for the entire group.
Concept maps give you the opportunity to capture a group's thinking efficiently and inclusively. This process gives people the ability to contribute independently - a critical ingredient for a successful group process. Concept maps and the other reports we provide are concrete and easy to read. Best of all, these reports show participants that their contribution to the process was actually used, and demonstrates how their work fits in with what others contributed.