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Mindjet User Spotlight: John B. Kauke

Name: John B. Kauke
Title: Head Guy, Global Market Linkage
Started using Mindjet: 1999
Social links: LinkedIn

How did you hear about Mindjet?

Not too long after I began consulting, I noticed a colleague drawing figures and connecting them to represent relationships between the different concepts we were exploring. Always on the lookout for good ideas to steal, I asked him what he was doing. He told me it was called mind mapping. Intrigued, I began making my own crude maps and found it helped a lot in clarifying complex combinations of ideas and information.

About a year later another colleague, seeing my hand-drawn maps, told me there was software that facilitated the mind mapping process. Another tool I could steal! That is, one I could buy from Mindjet.

What do you primarily use it for?

Today I use mind mapping for all sorts of things, much to the chagrin of my wife, my son… Five years ago I moved my practice south from northern Nevada–way south–to Santiago, Chile. Now many of the maps I build are in Spanish. In my consulting work maps help in a variety of ways.

I do a lot of triangulation in trying to build a coherent picture of markets and new opportunities for my clients. A mind map gives us a place to put all the diverse information and ideas that form the environment and begin to describe and dimension the new opportunity. It’s easy to move stuff around and add or subtract pieces as necessary. In the end, the map makes everything crystal clear.

What is your favorite feature? 

My clients recognize the need to move quickly. I’ve been climbing mountains since I was a teenager. From my hero, John Muir, I learned fast and light travel in the mountains, which I have adapted to my consulting practice. The key is using only the necessary tools and tactics to learn just enough to make informed decisions. Our maps allow team members to move quickly and simultaneously, each of us adding to the same map as we go.

Is there anything the tool helps with that was unexpected? 

In every project a major challenge is achieving buy-in from the diverse and often dispersed team members and stakeholders. This challenge is even more complex when there is more than one language and/or culture involved. I use maps to facilitate meetings and to build concensus and engagement among all participants. I find that visual thinking works really well across these cultural and geographic divides.

Tell us about the map below.

This is a screen shot of a map I shared on Maps For That! earlier this year (full version here). It describes the process I use to help clients discover, define and develop new market opportunities.

[Click for full size image]

A veteran market pioneer, corporate sales VP, consultant and coach, John Kauke helps companies extend their reach into new territory. John has pioneered markets in the consumer food, publishing and healthcare industries in North and South America, Asia Pacific, and Europe. His expertise includes opportunity analysis, market entry strategy, alliance building, branding, and channel development. As Founder and Head Guy at Global Market Linkage since 1997, John has assisted hundreds of small and medium-sized companies to discover and develop new opportunities, often across continents and cultures.

In 2008 John moved his consulting practice to Santiago, Chile. He works with clients in both North and South America when he’s not mountain walking or serving Chilean seafood and wine to friends and family. John can be reached at +1 (415) 287 3762 or


Here at Mindjet, we know the value of sharing ideas. It’s just like philosopher Michel de Montaigne said way back in the 1500s: “It is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others.” The Mindjet User Spotlight series aims to help that little endeavor along by bringing your stories and experiences with Mindjet to the forefront. If you’ve got one to share, don’t be shy! Give us a shout.

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