The first book from Rosenfeld Media, Mental Models, is hot off the press (get 10% off with discount code FOSMEX10). I bought a copy this week, and was struck by how widely the alignment diagrams in the book could be used.
In case you haven’t seen an alignment diagram, it basically groups similar mental concepts together and maps them to corresponding content or functions, listed underneath (click for a larger image).
Just as strategy maps made a conceptually large and complex set of concepts easy to understand (and popular) by visualizing them all on one page, alignment diagrams does the same for what people are thinking and how to interact with them. The book culminates with a chapter on deriving structure and labels from the diagram, for example for a website. But it’s easy to imagine much broader applications, from organizational change planning to communications strategies.