The Meaning Map source method is a way to make sense of the different perspectives formed by a group of individuals as they navigate a complex organisational challenge.


The Meaning Map concept is based on the awareness that human cognition navigates abstract concepts in the same way that it navigates physical environments. In any unfamiliar and uncertain situation, people naturally orient themselves to become more aware of where they are, both physically and conceptually. The orientation process occurs naturally as people identify where they are and where they are choosing to go. By representing there are options for navigating conceptual landscape as a topographic physical landscape, people can explore their options for moving from their current state towards a desired state. The maps can also be combined amongst the group of people to provide an understanding of their shared perspectives and common ground.


The purpose of the Meaning Map is to navigate abstract and often ambiguous concepts in a practical and methodical manner. By constructing a topographical landscape based on their perceptions and perspectives, people can explore different ways of achieving the most meaningful outcome for them. The physical process of drawing the Meaning Map also assists in clearly identifying challenges and the best ways to tackle them. The Meaning Map also provides the opportunity to share the perspectives of a team or an organisation so that common ground may be identified and routes forward can be decided. This capacity makes the Meaning Map a very useful method in deciding strategy or creating a vision for future progress.


  • • To make sense of a complex and uncertain situation
  • • To identify what is most meaningful in a situation and the circumstances that surround it
  • • To resolve ambiguities by exploring different perspectives
  • • To view a complex situation from a range of perspectives
  • • To identify and assess alternative routes to a valuable outcome
  • • To identify what to be done and connections to be made
  • • To reflect on learning and information flow
  • • To explore possibilities for growth



To learn how to use Meaning Maps in your work, contact us