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Flowscaping is a cognitive mapping technique pioneered by Edward de Bono in the 1990s. A flowscape is designed to give the thinker a topographical view of his or her stream of consciousness around an idea, theme or topic. The object of flowscaping is to capture free associations in the order they occur and analyze which are dominant, which thoughts lead to which.

Flowscape Application

The application of flowscape as a mapping technique allows the easy identification of attributes that form the ability to achieve the users identified goals. Features of the flowscape diagram are as follows.

The Situation
The goal or ideal solution for this flowscape exercise is “for England to win the football world cup”. This follows on from the previous flowscape exercise which involved identifying factors that have contributed toward England failing to win the world cup in 11 attempts since 1966. Despite significant talent, the team has failed to perform in world cup events falling well short of their potential, as defined by players, fans and book-makers.

In an intense brainstorming session, the factors that would contribute to a team winning the world cup were identified.

AHigh motivationF
BRested playersJ
CHigh skillsK
DNational prideA
EFinancial incentiveA
FEffective trainingC
GSkilled managementJ
HPositive public supportK
IInspirational coachesA
JPreparation (for games and playing environment)K

The application of the flowscape analytical technique to the goal of England winning the football world cup, based on the factors identified above, let to development of the flowscape diagram below.


The flowscape diagram above shows that there are six starter points identifying actions that must be performed in order to achieve the desired goal. In the case of England winning the world cup, these are: 1.Rested players (B) – specified degree of rest required,...
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