Management IT Mentoring & Coaching

I have recently read a fascinating Interview (Monday, October 26, 2009) by Wallace Tait with John England.  Here’s an extract…

” John England the founder of Mindsystems is the consummate professional. I [Wallace Tait] have known John for a relatively short span of time, and in this period he has indeed enabled me to glean much from his illustrious past relating to his careers. John has worn a few hats, and has performed his tasks with great success to the nth degree of professionalism. His initial business success has enabled both him and his team to create a strong Mindsystems presence within the business management arena. Mindsystems have developed a new concept called “Method Neutral”. Once you get your head around this, you’ll receive an “aha” moment for sure; I know I did; so read on and receive yours.

…Tell us about your involvement and work at Mindsystems?

I am the executive director and founder of Mindsystems which means …  that I can spend my time in more innovative and entrepreneurial ways than I was able to in the past. My major focus these days falls into three distinct yet overlapping areas: making new industry contacts, focusing on developing Amode .and constantly researching new trends in information handling. 

…Tell me about the “Method Neutral” approach you now take to software design

Method Neutral is described as “multiple modes of information expressed within a flexible workspace”. We developed the Method Neutral concept in response to our frustration towards the “one size fits all” approach of many software companies. For example there are those that would have you believe that the mind map is the centre of the universe. I would suggest that the true centre of the universe is not mapping (or any other particular technique) but rather the information itself. … It is quite easy to reach a point where the information is hidden behind the technique of mind mapping. Quite simply large maps are very difficult to manage even when filtering techniques are applied to the map. This led us to the Method Neutral approach to software development. …

…You recently developed a new information management product called Amode; tell us about it and what it can do for us?

Mindsystems … Amode V1 was launched in May 2009 and received a very enthusiastic reception. We are now well into the development of Version 2. The really significant part of the development was an almost fanatical application of Method Neutral. Another principle which was kept in mind was the model of Chaos Theory. This theory does not really say that the world is in chaos, but rather we are surrounded by a great deal of data and information in random and constant motion and that from time to time patterns (emerging trends) form. Thus Amode is designed to handle information in a neutral way and make the identification of patterns simple and straightforward. What is so important about these patterns … well two things: First the identification of “knowledge” and second the identification of emerging commercial trends … in fact staying ahead of the curve!

… Method Neutral, IMO, as a new concept and definition shall undoubtedly impact the information management arena; how will it impact information handling?

You’re quite right in saying that this concept and its definition of information handling are set to have a big impact on people’s perception of the way in which information should be handled and its importance in the systems approach. … The Method Neutral [approach]… “multiple modes of information expressed within a flexible workspace”. I have been amazed at people’s reaction to this simple concept in that almost everyone seems to have one of those “Aha” moments when they suddenly “get” the critical concept that the information is the centre of the universe and not the presentation technique. I fully appreciate that we will meet considerable opposition from those entrenched in a particular visual presentation process, be that as it may, our experience and people’s reaction to this concept leads me to believe that it will be the way of the future for information handling.

… What are the capabilities of your product?

Mindsystems Amode allows you to work in a logical and structured way.  Mindsystems Amode combines visual planning, information handling, project management & multi-task management all in one tightly integrated application.

• Manage & organize information visually
• Robust Information Handling System
• MS Office® / Open Office Integration
• MS Project and MS Outlook Integration
• MindManager integration
• Full Project Management, Gantt Charting
• Powerful Filtering & Searching
• Alarms, Notes, Embed Attachments
• Work in groups in real time

Above all Amode allows the user to focus on Information and Process in an uninterrupted, elegant and intuitive manner.

… What do you see in the field of visual mapping as trends going forward?

Another very good question Wallace and one which I know is dear to your heart. I believe we have come to a fork in the visual mapping highway. One group will vehemently defend the pure visual approach (of which mind mapping is a perfect example) while others accept the inevitable conclusion that must be drawn when considering and using the Method Neutral approach. …

For the full interview visit Wallace Tait’s VisualMapper blog

… and, finally, watch this space because MindSystems Amode v2 is on the way…

Comments on: "Method Neutral: MindSystems Amode" (2)

  1. I am eagerly awaiting the release of Amode v2 to see “Method Neutral” and “Chaos Theory” in action. The following quote from the Interview was the Aha moment for me because I am interested in Data which becomes Information which then becomes Knowledge. I want to see the VISION whilst still being able to see the DETAIL. Physics was not a good subject for me at school so I have just spent some time Googling “chaos theory” and it really helped me to understand the theory behind the software and to clarify why I had such an Aha moment when I read this section of the Interview:-

    “the model of Chaos Theory.

    This theory does not really say that the world is in chaos, but rather we are surrounded by a great deal of data and information in random and constant motion and that from time to time patterns (emerging trends) form.

    Thus Amode is designed to handle information in a neutral way and make the identification of patterns simple and straightforward.

    What is so important about these patterns … well two things:

    First the identification of ”knowledge” and second the identification of emerging commercial trends … in fact staying ahead of the curve!”

    I can’t wait to see it in action.
    Kaye Nigthingale

  2. Just doing the final touches and Amode will be released in a couple of days.

    This whole issue of patterns is intreging because when you think about it, they form the basis of almost everything we do on both a personal and a business level. Of course another word for a pattern is a “proceedure”. We use proceedures for just about everything … getting up inthe morning to QC and six sigma. When you get up most of us follow an almost inflexible path between the bed and work. In creativity programmes, you are often advised to break patterns. For example, men are advised to start shaving from a different spot on their faces and women change the order in which they apply their makup! We have all tried crossing our arms in the opposite what to the direction we normally do.
    The point about this is that many patterns and proceedures are ingraned or we follow them because “it has always been done like that!” It is also true the the definition of insanity is “doing something that did not work in the past and expecting a different outcome”.
    The point about this ramble is that Amode is superb (OK I know I have a vested interest) at identifying, modifying and improving proceedures of all sorts. This will be hugely improved in version 2 with the new graphical interface.

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