The Metaphor Mapping tools are brought to you by the Metaphor Language Research Center LLC (MLRC). The roots of the MLRC date to 1987 in Geneva, Switzerland, where it started as the Visual Language Research Center with a consulting arm Newbase International, LLC. The MLRC is currently based in Boulder, Colorado, USA.
The main idea behind metaphor languages is that adding visual symbols to words encourages takes more of the burden of communication onto the originator, promotes open discussion and clear understanding. Metaphor map-building helps groups see a process in its overall context, build awareness of others’ views, spot opportunities and generate consensus for change strategies.
Symbols and metaphors help groups generate breakthrough ideas the same way they helped Einstein. Mapping insures systems thinking discipline but, the colorful stickers make difficult work seem like fun.
The conceptual foundation of metaphor languages and example applications are documented in REINVENTING COMMUNICATION – A Guide to Using Visual Language for Planning, Problem-Solving and Re-engineering, published in 1994 by ASQC Quality Press. The success of metaphor languages was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine.
The goals of the Metaphor Language Research Center are to:
- Help individuals improve their perception, thinking, creativity and problem solving
- Help consultants and facilitators grow their businesses by applying our tools or adapting them to fit with their existing offerings
- Build a community that raises the art and value of visual metaphor languages
- Expand into new languages, new applications and new geographies