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Mindjet User Spotlight: Lauren Duensing

Lauren 1
Name: Lauren Duensing
Title: Program Director, National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA)
Started using Mindjet: 2009

How did you hear about Mindjet?

I was introduced to Mindjet when my husband, Mike Duensing was hired in November of 2008 to become Vice President of Engineering for Mindjet.  The concept of mind mapping was foreign to me, yet I immediately connected with it.  I also read the book, “The Cancer Code”, written by the founder, Mike Jetter.

What do you primarily use it for?

Being a visual, creative and often out of the box thinker, the ability to quickly toss ideas onto paper in a non-linear and fun fashion, was not only addictive, but productive and freeing. I have used mind maps for personal use, for outlining writing projects, and most recently at NICA for vision, collaboration, project management and planning.

What is your favorite feature? 

I can’t speak to one feature that is the best (they are all great!), but I can speak to a surprising benefit to using maps as a communication tool.  More often then not, the content of a map is not as impactful as the overall story and impression of the map. Mind mapping brings an artistry to business, and scenery to timelines and project management.  By looking at a map, a viewer and quickly grasp the goal, or the ending of the story, without having to read each chapter.

How does Mindjet help with collaborative processes?

I will give an example, but first, a little context.  In February of 2012 I was hired as the Program Director for NICA, an organization that is bringing high school mountain biking to every state in the US.  At that time, NICA had 4 leagues in 3 states.  Now, one year later, we have 9 leagues in 8 states.   I was hired to bring systems and methods to maintaining our leagues, as well as launching new leagues.  Mind mapping has been essential to visualize and display the growth of the movement, but also the growth of the organization.

My example:

In June of this year I had the opportunity to present to the board of directors the programmatic growth of NICA at the 2012 NICA National Conference.  My goal was not to drill down on particular programs or particular states, but to show how complex and large the organization had become in a short period of time.  The board was able to quickly grasp this, and understand the need for more funding to meet the growth.  Here is that map:


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Lauren Duensing is passionate about the programs of NICA! She manages the program staff in the NICA headquarters, and works with the 9 leagues and a national team to deliver the 59 (and growing) races, events, summits and conferences a year. Lauren is committed to the continued excellence the NICA programs provide for student riders, coaches and parents, and the expanded impact of the high school mountain biking movement. She comes to NICA as a parent impacted by the NICA story. An avid trail runner and reluctant biker, she was lead by her two children who race(d) with NorCal to become an enthusiastic mountain biker. “Mountain Biking has defined and changed our family. It is what we do.”


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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