(image from Logotron)
I've been doing a little light research in the area of mindmapping—specifically looking at a small crop of tools such as software that enables anyone do create these types of visuals rapidly and digitally. Here are a few:
And actually, here is an entire archive thanks to Innovation Tools.
Mindmapping isn't as fancy as it sounds. It's basically taking inventory of thoughts and ideas and showing the relationship between them visually vs. jotting them down in a linear list or bullet type fashion. Mindmaps aren't just useful for internal exercises, they can also be nice way to "get into the heads" of customers. By doing customer mindmaps, you can quickly communicate what's important to the customer—what is in their own little "micro universe".
I think the software options are a good idea as going digital allows us to share and modify mindmaps rapidly. And like the example above—I think the more successful maps will include iconic visuals for immediate communication. The software options are nice to have—but if you are a planner or strategist and want to use this type of technique—it wouldn't hurt to befriend your nearest information designer.