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All unusual terms on this website are explained in detail in the Glossary.
We suggest you print it for reference
while reading our papers. Press the Glossary link above for a copy.
  This section introduces the key Perspectivist Developmental-Stage tools called “cognitive maps.” The first two papers explain what cognitive maps are and how to evaluate their quality. The rest of the papers each describe a cognitive map in detail.

Cognitive maps are, metaphorically, maps of cognitive “territory.” They are organized sets of ideas about a conceptual area or Domain. Everyone uses many of them all the time, usually without knowing it.

Cognitive maps vary widely in quality. Their quality affects the quality of our thinking. Also, the higher the quality of the map, the more reliable it is and the more likely to be a good guide to a successful result. Therefore, it pays to be discriminating in which maps we use. The second paper explains how to tell better maps from worse ones—a short list of criteria that completely determine the quality of any map.

This website is full of cognitive maps and their applications to many issues for managers and their organizations. The maps are used to understand an organization, gain insights into its problems, evaluate performance, discover opportunities for improvements, figure out the best ways to make improvements, and monitor progress.

We strongly encourage you to at least dip your toe into these waters by reading a few of the papers in this section. We’re sure you will find it of great value in your personal and professional life.
  Contents of This Section  
  Here are the papers containing the material for this section of the website. They are in pdf format for convenience in printing. Please press the View button next to the title of each paper to view and print it. We suggest printing, rather than reading on the screen.
 “About Cognitive Maps”  
What Are Cognitive Maps?
How People Use Cognitive Maps
Cognitive Maps and Developmental Stages
The Cognitive Maps in This Section of the Website
 “Tests of the Value of a Cognitive Map”  
Why Evaluate Cognitive Maps?
Problems in Evaluating Cognitive Maps
The Ultimate Test of a Cognitive Map
Quality Criteria for Cognitive Maps
The User’s Skill
Evaluating the Quality Criteria Map Itself
Trying It Yourself
Talks & Workshops on Evaluating Cognitive Maps
 “The Five Phases of Work”  
Divides and organizes any kind of project into five elements or phases: a methodology for executing the project. Used to organize, plan, execute, and monitor nearly any type of work. It helps ensure that you don’t leave anything critical out, that you proceed in the right order, and that you don’t confuse one kind of phase with another.
 “The Eight Factors of Information Quality”  
Lists and explains the factors that determine the quality or accuracy of information, communication, and thinking. Based on Information Theory and Communication Theory. Applies to almost everything, because information is of such a fundamental level. Also lays out the four dimensions of Purpose in general, and applies them to clarify the
purpose of any piece of information or act of communicating.

The map contains all necessary factors to determine the quality of any piece of information, including thinking plus oral and written communications. It covers data, facts, interpretations, points of view, perspectives, propositions, conclusions, theories, logic, reason, and all other cognitive forms.

 “The Comprehensive Map of Management”  
A sophisticated but simple scheme that accurately maps the whole job of management. Contains all the functions or processes managers do or need to do: all the general processes used by managers and their groups in doing all of their work, such as communication and
planning. Not a map of the content of those processes—what the processes are working on—such as budgeting, research, marketing, sales, or manufacturing. Therefore, the map is not specific to any given industry or department. Instead, it contains all functions common to all industries and departments It is a map of how things are done. Because of this focus, it is truly a complete map of management.

For managers of any type, size, or part of a project, organization, or collaboration among organizations. For managers of all levels: owners, executives, middle-managers, and supervisors. Also for management consultants who play a role in evaluating and improving effectiveness of management. Used to troubleshoot, assess performance, identify needed management-skills, solve problems, and make improvements to the work of managers and the groups they manage.

 “Determinants of an Open System's Potential to Achieve
   a Purpose ”
A map of what determines the potential of an open system (e.g., an individual, group, or organization) to achieve one of its purposes. Can be used by anyone to evaluate the key causes of poor performance, to improve performance, or to predict the likelihood and degree of success. Applies to all purposes: solving a problem, achieving a goal, or making
a sound decision.

Focuses on whether and how well an open system will accomplish its purpose. It does so by examining those past, present, or future characteristics of the open system itself that determine its own potential for achievement. Because it is so fundamental for all purposes, it has a very wide range of applicability.

Developmental Consulting, Inc., Copyright ©2005-2010 Dennis Emberling