Blueprint: a copy of a design plan or other technical drawing
The Blueprint Process was introduced in the 19th century. The process allowed quick and accurate reproduction of documents used in the construction and other industries. The blue-print process was characterized by light colored lines on a blue background, a negative of the original. They were disposable copies of original hand drafted engineering and architectural drawings that were not easily replaced and too valuable to leave the office.
Blueprints were replaced on the most part by Whiteprints or large format copies of original drawings over the last twenty or thirty years. These did not use the standard ammonia-based method. They lasted longer, were cheaper to reproduce. Now the industry has turned to large format printers and plotters that are fast, efficient, easy to use, affordable, don’t smell like ammonia, are safer, and operator friendly. The last local blueprint machines in my city were produced overseas before WWII and hauled out to the garbage bin about 15 years ago.
So why are the business gurus still using the word “blueprint” to introduce a new plan when it is an outdated and did not stand the test of time? When I hear someone say, “We will be putting together a new Blueprint for our organization” implying they are planning for the future using state of the art information. I hear we are behind in our thinking, out of step with resources, and know we need a new plan and have no idea how to begin. I hear, well let’s get something on paper. It will not matter if it lasts or not. We did something, didn’t we?
Organizational Mapping. Mind Mapping. Vision. Mission. Strategy. A new day. A new way. A shift from the old to a new exciting, workable, executable model.
When I heard Stephen Covey say, “begin with the end in mind”, I knew immediately what the direction was needed. Bring the team together. Put Post It papers on the walls. Provide markers and flip charts or white boards. Start the open, honest conversation. Start with the question “What does our name stand for? (The Vision) Who are we serving? (The Mission) What do we need to do to make it happen? (The Strategy)
Like all road maps, the destination does not change. Who we are serving does not change. Navigating the route will sometimes demand a correction or slight change of course.
Mind Mapping is a subset of the Organizational Map. It allows each piece of the map to be worked out so the pieces of things that need to be done, who is accountable, a time line, a budget, and who the number two is, with the two deep leadership models are written and connected.
This model generates the enthusiasm, excitement and long term, success of individuals, companies, and organizations – both for profit and not for profit.
Blueprints are short lived and the image dissolves over time. The organizational map moves you on the road to the future. Find a better, more accurate word for “Blueprint”. Thank you.
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