The Wonderweb of Possibility
What is it?
A WonderWeb is a particular sort of mind map. Wikipedia
“A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas,
tasks, or other items linked to and arranged radically
around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used
to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas,
and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving,
decision making, and writing.”
A WonderWeb uses Possibility as its focal point.
You focus and brainstorm around the possibilities you see
around you. Either for yourself personally, or for
your organisation or for both. The more colourful
you can make it, the better it will work for you to jog
your memory of linkages and to remember what you’ve put
down on your map.
How does it work?
Using a clean sheet of flipchart paper is best – it gives
you plenty of room. However, if you don’t have any,
the largest sheet of paper you have will do. Be sure
to give yourself a good 30 minutes or more to do this.
Don’t be frightened if you have a blank mind for a bit –
just stay with it and let thoughts and connections come
In the centre draw your focus. In my case it says,
“WonderWeb of Possibility”. I also give it a date,
as I revisit the maps and re-draw them about once a quarter.
It is amazing how many changes there are in three months!
Next, divide the map into different areas. For
me that will be Academic and NGO work, my strategy work
which I do with SAMI Consulting, and the work I do through
LASA which includes Leadership Development, Change work
Then write down the different possibilities you see in
each area. This could be the name of a contact, frequently
that connects to another and another and so on. Or
it could be an organisation name; but the possibilities
are usually around a relationship that you already have
with someone in an organisation.
As an example, when I spoke for the Green Economics Institute
on Community Building, I just put GEI on my map. However,
when I revisited the map after the sessions, I could connect
names of people I had met (with whom I wished to chat further)
to the event/organisation. And from them, other connections
I find this particularly useful if I’m feeling a bit
tired and deflated. I think perhaps there really isn’t
much out there. Yet when I revisit my WonderWeb, I
feel revitalised – I realise there is plenty and usually
some connection speaks to me to follow it up. It helps
me to be more organised and to actually visualise my network.
I’m a great believer in working in my sphere of influence.
This means that I work on what I can. If I can’t do
anything about something, it is time to let go. Developing
the WonderWeb helps me to see just where my sphere of influence
is and could be, so that I am clear where I need to focus
I hope that you find this useful and that it will help
you to feel a lot more positive about 2009, going forwards.
� Patricia Lustig, 2008