Example of maps

To understand the practical use of a Whymap there is nothing better than a few examples. Let’s start with something simple. The values which we will assign are arbitrary, but by varying them a situation very often doesn’t change very much. Only by introducing new values can we improve a position on the efficiency line, which is what gives us the true response.

Let’s start from a personal map.

Lorraine, my English teacher, wanted to buy an apartment, but was afraid of finding herself in financial straits. So I asked her to make a Whymap. This is how she saw the situation if she bought an apartment:

Positive for her: greater freedom (+ 90), more space (+ 70), greater self-assuredness (+ 90).

Negative for her: paying the mortgage (- 60), more work to pay it off (- 50), more stress (- 60).

Positive for others: more space for friends and students (+ 50), the bank makes money (+ 60).

Negative for others: she will be more nervous with others, thinking of the mortgage (- 50).

The result on the Whymap is…………..

The efficiency for the system is …………..

At this point I asked her: how can you improve the result? She looked at me without understanding. “These are the actual facts, they can’t be changed”, she replied.

Then I said to her: why not buy an apartment with 2 more rooms to rent to students.  You could give them English lessons and so, between the rent and the lessons, you pay off your mortgage with ease.

On the Whymap were then added the following items:

For her: money from the rent (+ 70), money from the lessons (+ 60), more housework (- 40), bigger mortgage (- 90), less peace in the flat (- 30), more assured economically (+ 90).

For others: cheaper for the students, who would have the teacher under the same roof (+ 80).

The result and the efficiency improved markedly!

- “It really is a good idea”, was her reply.

Among the various uses of a Whymap, the environmental is very important. The planet on which we live is an interconnected system, in which everything intersects and interacts. What for us is refuse is food for another species, and so on, in a cascading mechanism in which everything is re-used. This means that our every action has effects on the environment, but since we live in it, it has effects on us as well, rendering our lives easier or more difficult depending on how we are moved.

So it is fundamental, before embarking on any project, to make sure that it does not rebound on us in the future.

Let’s look at a simple example, like throwing paper on the ground. If we throw it in the street the benefit for us is that we get rid of it without wasting time (+ 20). The negative for us is: sense of guilt (- 80), possible repercussions with the law (- 50). For others there are no positive effects, only negative ones: the job of picking it up (- 40), time wasted (- 30), ecological problem (- 60), unsightliness (- 80).

Result on the map….

Efficiency for society ….

 

Let’s see what happens if we put the paper in the proper container. Sense of satisfaction (+ 50), setting an example (+ 40), respecting the law (+ 50), being rid of the problem (+ 60). There are no negative effects, except the greater time lost (- 20). For others: aiding the environment (+ 80), possibility of recycling (+80), transport job required (- 30).

The efficiency for society improves wonderfully!

 

Finally a company map.

Some time ago, in a company, it was decided to increase internal competition to encourage productivity. To this end a system of virtual payments between departments was created, which then competed against one another to improve their budget. Obviously the best would obtain advantages, the worst risked salary cuts and dismissal.

The results at the personal level were: Increase in stress (- 100), greater work load (-60), unhappiness (- 70), envy (- 70). At the company level: broken social relations (- 90), dismissal of able persons (- 100), fall in productivity (- 80), tensions with clients (- 70), fewer takings (- 60). The benefit hoped for at the beginning, the increase in productivity, became instead a marked fall in efficiency – a boomerang which, among other things, destroyed beyond repair social relations that had worked well for many years

Let’s look now at a company which seeks to encourage flexibility, colla boration, social activities, and in which most of the takings are divided among all.

For the company: greater productivity among the more motivated employees (+ 80), satisfied clients (+ 80), larger takings (+ 70), the most able stay with the company and grow with it (+ 90), fall in productivity among the less motivated employees (- 50). For the employees: greater calm (+ 40), pride in working for their company (+ 60), personal satisfaction (+50), larger takings (+ 60), acquisition of greater skills (+ 70), more work (- 70), less free time (- 40).

The efficiency of the company system shifted markedly.

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