Have you ever had a brilliant idea that you were excited to share, only for fear to kick in and stop you in your tracks? What if others thought it was unrealistic, flawed or odd? At some point, we can all fall victim to self-doubt. Don’t fret, Mind Mapping a Greens and Reds Analysis will help you to eliminate any uncertainty surrounding your ideas.
The Greens and Reds Analysis is a simple but effective problem solving strategy that allows you to identify an idea’s pros and cons to encourage confident choices. By analysing your idea, you will build a strong case around it before you present it to others. In the example below, we will imagine that we manage a company’s I.T. department and we want to put forward the idea of team members working from home a few days a week. For the most effective analysis, we recommend weighing up the ‘Greens and Reds’ of your idea using the Mind Mapping technique, which we will get into below.
You will begin by breaking your idea down into positive (greens) and negative (reds) aspects. Consider all the important factors such as financial, marketing and organisational aspects and implications e.g. cost, time, legality, safety and quality issues. The more factors you consider the more effective your analysis will be, so you may even want to get hold of some additional data to feed your analysis.
Start on a positive note by Mind Mapping the positive aspects of your idea (greens). Using single keywords on the radiating branches of your Mind Map triggers natural associations in the brain, sparking further ideas. This will help you to build on and explore every aspect of your idea thoroughly. Depending on the nature of your idea, consider questions such as:
What are its strengths?
What might others like about it?
What are its unique selling points?
Is it difficult for competitors to replicate?
Is there a high demand for it?
Next, think about the negative aspects of your idea (Reds). Using keywords, a Mind Map consolidates information, cutting through the clutter to help you concentrate on the factors that will have the biggest impact on your idea. Be honest and focus on the reality of things here by asking yourself:
What are its weaknesses?
Why might it fail?
Why might others reject your idea?
Is it risky?
Are the startup costs high?
Now you have your pros and cons mapped out, examine all the points and interrelationships. A Mind Map will provide a clear visual overview of your analysis, making it easy for you to spot the connections between your ideas’ strengths and weaknesses. Starting with the positives, note down all the ways in which each one might be strengthened, emphasized or improved. Can you make any edits to make it more cost effective or longer lasting? Is there anything else the idea might allow you to accomplish?
Finally, explore the negatives. Keep an open mind and think about how you could erase a negative or even transform it into a positive. For example, if one of your negatives is that the solution costs too much, switch your thinking to “how could I afford to pay for this?”. If you’re able to come up with answers, then this barrier can be manipulated into a positive. Think about the ways you could dispel concerns about any potential risks. Don’t simply paper over any cracks, go further and convert any possible objections into positives. For instance, if your idea involves introducing a new management structure into your organisation, anticipate that there will be some objections to the proposed change. Then, prepare for this by considering ways that this will be better for the company, employees and customers.
By using the Mind Mapping technique to conduct a thorough analysis of your idea, you will be able to build a stronger case surrounding it. This will give you more confidence in your idea, so that you can dispel any self-doubt and share it with others fearlessly.