I would like to say I knew what I was doing four years ago, but the truth is, I had no clue. I just knew that being an IT professional in central Europe and working a long way from customers (another not so wise choice of the past) was preventing me from doing any great things. When the opportunity arose to join my friend’s start-up, I knew it was something that I had to abandon my quiet and predictable life for, to do my best, and hope that I would not have to return to my previous job. My then employer had promised to take me back if the start-up did not work out, which was a great insurance policy that I could not thank them enough for.
And then I came across one of Simon Wardley's presentations that showed exceptional gameplay of one company. For contrast, I decided to use my previous employer as a case example, which pointed out some major strategic mistakes. Knowing I could no longer return to the company with this new knowledge, I started living two lives; by day working on regulatory aspects for a small Fintech institution, and by night learning how to map. I created WardleyMaps.com and the first version of the mapping software tool. I then applied my mapping knowledge to my day job, and discovered how the financial market will be transformed. This was one of the most unpleasant moments in my professional career, because mapping has shown that the entire field of currency exchange is just a temporal bubble that is about to burst, and existing constraints did not leave a lot of room for manoeuvre.
With the birth of my second child, it started to become increasingly difficult to run wardleymaps.com at night and play regulatory checkers during the day. Fortunately, Leading Edge Forum agreed to give me shelter, so I abandoned Fintech and banks, and turned to maps for good.
Over the last nine months, I have used my experience of learning mapping to create a self-paced, online mapping course, How to Stop Self-Harm and Get Fit. At times, it was a difficult battle as mapping is a big subject, and boiling it down for the newcomer takes time. For those of you that have signed up for the course already, we hope you are finding the tutorials helpful and we welcome any comments/feedback you may have. For those of you not enrolled thus far, the technique can be used for a variety of different business cases; from helping discover and understand elements of your business strategy to examining financials and economic patterns and to anticipating and making better strategic-decisions. Each of these has a huge potential to change the way we do business.
Maps continue to have a very strong impact on me, and I have used them to manage the second, improved version of the mapping tool. The tool got multi-user support, mechanism for discovering duplication and ability to create submaps for any given component, so important when doing breadth-first analysis. Sign-in today and let us know your views.
I have also started working with Poznan University of Technology, where I am dissecting maps into smaller parts to fully understand how they impact our cognitive skills, and how to boost them further via the tool. What is more, I also map my skills in order to find out what I should learn next. Today I can’t buy anything significant without first creating a mental map!
Although sometimes I would like to forget about maps, especially when the results are not in line with my emotions. For example, I love do-it-yourself movement, yet I know that custom-building commodities is a waste of time, so my soldering iron has been idle for quite some time.
If you are willing to try to change your business, enrol in the course today with the early bird rate.
Just be warned – what is seen, cannot be unseen.